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Monday, October 17, 2011
Samsung to Supply A6 Processors To Apple Despite Patent War

Despite their patent legal battles, Samsung will reportedly supply Apple with the A6 processors slated to appear in the next iPhone.

Citing industry sources, the The Korea Times reports that Samsung has boosted the production of Apple-designed A6 chips at its plant in Austin, Texas.

"Apple has been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core mobile processor (AP) chips to be used in the next iPhone. It appears that Apple clearly has concluded that Samsung remains a critical business partner," an executive from an Apple parts supplier based in Korea said on condition of anonymity.

Samsung has been supplying Apple with the A5 processor found in the new iPhone 4S and the iPad 2.

If true, this report contradicts earlier news that Apple was jumping ship to chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) for the manufacturing of the A6 processor.

"Samsung Electronics will apply its advanced 28-nanometer processing technology to produce qualified A6 mobile APs. TSMC will provide customized chips with designs from Apple, however, the volume will be very small," said the executive.

Apple has reportedly been hesitant to give TSMC the production of chips amid concerns that the Taiwan-based company's manufacturing process isn't yet stable.

Beyond appearing in the next iPhone, the quad-core A6 chip is also likely to pop up in the next iPad, that will be possibly released next summer.

Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in a series of patent disputes over the past several months. Apple has argued that Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablet have infringed on patents related to the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has claimed that Apple's products have violated some of its own patents for mobile and wireless technologies. In the latest legal salvo, earlier today Samsung announced that it would try to block sales of the iPhones 4S in parts of Europe as well as in Australia and Japan.

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