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Upcoming iPad Launch Could Be Delayed Due to Poor Chip Yields

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Dec 23, 2016
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Previous reports claimed that Apple’s upcoming iPad lineup comprised up of several slates, and was expected to be announced during 2017. Unfortunately, sources close to the matter have stated that ‘lower than expected’ yield for 10nm chips might force Apple to extend the official announcement month of the iPad family.

TSMC and Samsung Said to Be Facing Monumental Issues – A10X Production Could Be Delayed, Leading to Imminent iPad Date Extension

The move to incorporate Apple’s A10X SoCs inside the iPad lineup would mean that the chip would be made on the 10nm FinFET architecture, resulting in lowered power consumption and much better performance and thermal efficiency. These chips are said to overtake the capabilities of the 16nm FinFET chips; a process that was used to make the A10 chips found inside the iPhone 7 lineup. Unfortunately, an earlier announcement date for the iPad lineup could cease to exist because both TSMC and Samsung have been experiencing a lot of difficulty in making 10nm FinFET chips.

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It is indeed a difficult process; companies like TSMC and Samsung have invested a ton of monetary resources in constructing buildings suited to mass production of these chips. These buildings are said to withstand vibrations and other elements, which would impede the mass production process, and the steps alone required to create such chips on a massive scale isn’t a walk in the park either, which is why sources are claiming that both manufacturers are seeing difficulty here. If demand is unable to be met, then the announcement dates of the iPad family could be pushed further and will several new refreshes coming in, that demand must be stronger than ever.

Previous rumors have suggested that the 2017 line of iPads will include three models

  • Upgraded 9.7-inch model
  • Upgraded 12.9-inch model
  • New 10.9-inch model (could also have a 10.1-inch or 10.5-inch screen size)

The same 10nm FinFET technology is going to be used to make the A11 SoCs that will be present in the iPhone 8, but production for these is expected to commence in Q2 2017. For products that were expected to be announced earlier, 10nm FinFET chip manufacturers will need to find a solution to remove the impeding element from their progress.

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