Apple Expands Supply Chain For iPad 2 Successor

Four Taiwanese integrated circuit makers have recently entered the supply chain for the next generation iPad, according to industry sources; Apple is said to be making the move in order to keep costs down.

However, none of the Taiwan based IC designers said to have entered the circuit, Novatek Microelectronics, Richtek Technology, Capella Microsystems and Integrated Memory Logic(iML), have confirmed the rumour so far.

"Apple is now more willing to adopt IC solutions from Taiwan-based IC design houses as it is adjusting the cost structure for iPad tablets in order to compete with an array of tablet PCs to be launched by rivals in the second half of 2011" the report on DigiTimes said.

It seems that iML will be supplying programmable gamma Vcon buffer solutions, to be adopted in touch panels for smartphone and tablet applications. Other solutions that are said to have been added to the next generation iPad supply chain are LCD driver integrated circuits, to be supplied by Novatek, ambient light sensors from Capella and Richtek's integrated power management integrated circuits.

So far, there is no certain information on when the third generation iPad will arrive, what it will be called or what features it will have. Some rumours claim that Apple might be soon launching a so called "iPad 2 plus" while others argue that the next generation iPad will be a completely redesigned iPad 3.