iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 will most likely have one confirmed feature, the next generation A8 processor.
The year 2014 is an exciting year for Apple's iPad line. Consumers are well-assured that the iPad Mini is here to stay as the tablet proved to be popular and competitive device in its niche market. There is also the possibility of a second generation of iPad Air. However, it may bring new changes in the said tablet. Lastly, the heavily rumoured iPad Pro is bound to arrive this year.
It is inevitable that these tablets will pack the successor of the current A7 processor. The A8 chipset could have the same 64-bit architecture or may have an octa-core configuration.
According to DigiTimes, Apple is already in talks with suppliers for the A8 CPU supply for the new range of iOS devices. The report also said that three semiconductor product packaging companies will be handling the A8 supply.
Amkor Technology, STATS ChipPac and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering will work hand-in-hand for the supply of the chipset. Production of these A8 chips is said to ramp up its production in the second quarter of this year, and will see Amkor and STATS handle 40 percent of production each and ASE making up the other 20 percent.
Moreover, reports claimed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has secured wafer bumping for A8 processor. TSMC is expected to use 20 nm process technology in making the chips. The new processor will deliver more power for Apple products.
Evercore Partners analyst Patrick Wang agrees that iPad Pro will come with "A8" processor and will arrive before the Christmas holiday sales later this year. Wang also told Apple Insider that the forthcoming iPad Pro will put the MacBook Air to rest. Mr Wang said that iPad Pro will pack the next-generation Apple A8 processor inside and will run with both the latest iOS and Mac OS X operating systems.
Meanwhile, rumours said that iPad Pro features will include screen displays with 4K and 2K pixel resolution and not the usual Retina display. This suggests that iPad Pro will come in two variants packing varying screen panels.