The A5 processor, used in the $399 iPad 2 and in Apple TV is considered "a testbed" for Samsung. The South Korean manufacturer is experimenting with the 32nm High-K + Metal Gate process that could be employed to make the future generation chips for Apple devices.
Samsung used the 45nm LP process for the A5 chip that powers iPhone 4S and A5X in the new iPad.
Before switching to a new process and gearing up for a new technology, Samsung wants to investigate any potential bugs that might affect the 32nm High-K + Metal Gate. Apple TV, which is not the best-selling Apple device, is the ideal platform for the initial tests.
"When transitioning to a new process node, it's always advisable to have a "pipe-cleaner" part. A small, not overly complex design that you can use to test the process and use to discover any bugs," writes AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi who first reported the news.
If Apple will eventually rely on Samsung's new chip-making process, analysts believe that we might see improvements in the second-generation iPad's battery life.