Apple’s A10 To Go Exclusively To TSMC Says JP Morgan Analyst

Ramish Zafar
Posted Oct 18, 2015
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Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus this year came with an interesting twist. Eager to capitalize on the 14/16nm FinFET process and equally eager to meet all of its demand requirements, the company chose two manufacturers with slightly different processes for the devices’ A9 processor. The Apple A9 is manufactured on Samsung and TSMC’s 14/16nm manufacturing processes and the company claims that the two do not come with any performance differences.

Apple’s Next Gen A10 Processor To Be Manufactured Exclusively By TSMC

Even though the A9 saw its orders split between TSMC and Samsung, when it comes to the A10, Apple might be looking to make things more uniform next year. After we’ve heard previously about the chipset being exclusively manufactured by the Taiwanese fab, today some claims by JP Morgan further corroborate this information.

While Apple might claim for PR purposes that TSMC’s and Samsung’s chips offer no differences in terms of performance and power efficiency, several tests carried out so far demonstrate that things might not be that simple. Several benchmarks put TSMC’s chip ahead of Samsung’s and subsequently, despite conservative fourth quarter earnings, TSMC should expect a larger chunk of foreign investment next year in the form of Apple’s A10.

TSMC Will Most Likely Use EUV Lithography For Its 5 nm ChipsOr at least that’s what the investor sentiment around TSMC’s shares is around in China. The Taiwanese fab has dominated global hardware manufacturing for quite a while and its experience just might be enough to woo Apple over completely. But before you set anything in stone, the major constraint that Apple and TSMC will face should such a partnership bear fruition is the fab’s manufacturing resources.

After all, Apple’s decision to use both Samsung and TSMC for the A9 wasn’t made lightly by folks over at Cupertino. Given the popularity of the iPhone, which increases nearly every year, Apple has to keep significant demand issues under consideration and TSMC will have to significantly ramp up its facilities in order to be able to accommodate Apple fully. It clearly doesn’t fall behind in terms of technology, with the company’s 16nm FinFET+ already out, but manpower should prove to be a significant issue.

Here’s How Fast An Apple A10 SoC Really Is

As always, there’s nearly a year left until we get to lay our eyes on the next iPhone powered by the A10, so nothing can be said for sure right now. But Apple might be facing a bit of tricky issues once again for its processors, since all things related to future product launches are generally set in stone months in advance by manufacturers. Stay tuned and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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