TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co) has begun a trial production of the 4th generation iPad's A6X processor, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times.
The news could spell trouble for availablity of Apple's 4th genearion iPad if TSMC is unable to meet demand.
The company has three months to prove itself to Apple, and all being well, it will become the major supplier of chips for Apple's mobile devices, according to the report.
Apple's arch-enemy Samsung currently manufactures Apple's iPad and iPhone processors at a factory in Austin, Texas. Following criticism that it manufacturers outside of the US, Apple has promised to return some manufacturing to the country. It is believed that Apple has pressurized TSMC to find a solution whereby it can manufacture Apple's chips in the US, and as a result the company is thought to have been looking for a new chip fab plant in the USA.
When the A6 processor launched last year it was noted that Apple had designed the processor itself, using Samsung merely to build them. Previously Apple licensed the chips from ARM but the company is thought to have spent around $500m in designing its own custom chip.
Neither Apple nor TSMC has confirmed the deal, according to AFP.