The new iPad Air is likely to be thinner and faster than its predecessor, thinks to a more powerful processor. Reuters

Component suppliers of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad have ramped up production for the next-generation version of the company’s flagship tablet, presumably called the iPad Air 2, according to a new report, which indicates that the second iteration of the iPad Air is nearing its launch.

The upcoming iPad Air 2 is expected to feature the same 9.7-inch screen with a resolution of 2048x1536 pixels (264 ppi) found in the current-generation version of the device. However, the new iPad Air is likely to be thinner and faster than its predecessor, thanks to a more powerful processor. In addition, the device is also rumored to feature an improved Touch ID fingerprint sensor, DigiTimes reported.

According to the report, touch-panel suppliers, including TPK Holding Co. Ltd. (TPE:3673) and General Interface Solution, a Taiwan-based subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Co Ltd (TPE:2354), have received orders from Apple to manufacture full-lamination units for the iPad Air 2 ahead of its launch by the end of 2014.

Sources also told DigiTimes that Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753), Japan Display Inc (TYO:6740) and LG Display Co Ltd. (NYSE:LPL) have also received more orders for the iPhone 6, suggesting that mass production of the bigger screens for the next iPhone version is also underway.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that suppliers had begun manufacturing a 9.7-inch screen iPad for possible release at the end of the September quarter or early next quarter, while a new version of the iPad Mini is also in production and could be released before the end of this year.

While Apple is not likely to add big changes to the new iPad’s design, the device could feature an 8-megapixel rear camera, compared to the 5-megapixel camera found in the current version of the device. The new version is also rumored to sport a faster A8 processor.

A report from Taiwan’s TechNews also claimed that the new iPad Air could get a memory upgrade, increasing its RAM to 2GB from 1GB. However, the second-generation Retina iPad mini is expected to continue featuring 1GB RAM.