Report: TSMC Will be Sole Producer of “A10” Chip for iPhone 7
The Electronic Times reports [Google Translate] that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be the sole supplier for the processor powering Apple’s next-generation iPhone 7. TSMC is said to have won the contract for the new chip, due to go into full production in June, due to its 10-nanometer manufacturing process.
In addition to the 10-nanometer process, another likely reason for Apple’s awarding of the contract to TSMC is the company’s advanced device packaging techniques, which result in better performance and efficiency than Samsung’s processors.
If the report is accurate, it would be a huge change from this year’s estimated A9 S0C’s 70/30 manufacturing split, said to be in Samsung’s favor. There was a bit of a controversy last year, as soon after the release of iPhone 6s/6s Plus benchmarking showed the TSMC chip offered better performance and efficiency than its Samsung counterpart. Apple finally saw the need to weigh in, saying its own internal testing showed the difference in performance was only 2 – 3 percent.
It should be noted when considering this report, that during a conference call last month, TSMC said that it was hoping to ramp up 10nm production in 2017, with slow production levels in the second half of 2016.