updated 07:40 am EDT, Tue July 26, 2011
iPad 3 may be more cost efficient with Taiwan ICs
Manufacturing sources said Tuesday that Apple was turning to new integrated circuit suppliers to help in "adjusting the cost structure" for the iPad 3. Capella Microsystems, Integrated Memory Logic, Novatek Microelectronics, and Richtek Technology have all supposedly been asked to supply key chipsets, Digitimes heard. Capella would provide ambient light sensors, IML would provide gamma/Vcom buffers, Novatek would provide LCD drivers, and Richtek would supply integrated power management chips.
The aim would be to better compete against a rush of rival tablets arriving in the second half of 2011. It's implied that Apple would either be lowering the price or using any cost savings to allow for more feature upgrades. Many expect the next iPad to introduce a 2048x1536 display that could put pressure on Apple to keep costs in check.
Apple may be pressured from both the high and low ends of the tablet market. Amazon is going low with a frugal design that could cost significantly less in return for less features. Others are expected to start using quad-core processors like NVIDIA's Kal-El (Tegra 3) and will put pressure on Apple to upgrade to processors like the A6 as soon as possible.
No mention has been made of when the component makers would come into play, but without indication of the companies being in active production soon, the expected early 2012 release is more likely.