Apple is reportedly set to sole-source its quad-core processors from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). TSMC specializes in 20nm process and is expected to be the only supplier of these types of chips to Apple for the next year or two.
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The Taiwan Economic News reported that Citigroup Global Markets research fellow J.T. Hsu revealed that Apple has been verifying TSMC's 20nm process since August and is expected to start volume production in the fourth quarter of 2013.
While TSMC hasn't been all that interested in Apple contracts in the past due to their low profit margin, Hsu believes that the Taiwanese supply chain could eventually be 10% cheaper when production gets into full swing.
Apple's acquisition of Intrincity in 2010 jumpstarted the company's efforts in the quad-core design area. Apple-designed quad-core processors could possibly be used in iPads, MacBooks, and even the rumored iTV. However, iPhones probably wouldn't take advantage of these processors because of their power consumption habits.