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AFP reports on claims from Taiwanese newspaper Commercial Times indicating that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is set to begin trial production of Apple’s A6X chip sometime this quarter. The chip is currently used in the fourth-generation iPad introduced in October.

The Taiwanese company has been contracted to manufacture the A6X chip, which drives Apple’s iPad4 tablet, with trial production set for the first quarter of this year, Taiwan’s Commercial Times reported.

The move is the latest in a strings of efforts by Apple to switch mass manufacturing contracts away from Samsung, it said.

Apple has been rumored for some time to be trying to switch to TSMC for production of its A-series chips, with some reports claiming that TSMC would be coming on board late this year for next-generation chips. More recent reports have claimed that TSMC could start production for Apple as soon as the second quarter, perhaps in line with today’s rumor of trial production in the first quarter of the year.