Apple iPhone 7 To Use TSMC’s InFO – 20% Performance Boost And 1mm Thickness Reduction Expected
As we reach the end of 2015, things in the smartphone market aren’t what they used to be a year back. With Samsung’s increasing dominance and Apple’s iPhone 6s/6s Plus launch, coupled with the increasing relevance of Chinese manufacturers, especially Huawei, 2016 sounds as promising as it can be. Today we’ve managed to get our hands on some information about TSMC and Apple’s plans for the iPhone 7 that could once again put both the companies at the forefront of the industry.
While Samsung might have managed to get on the top of things with its 14nm FinFET earlier this year, other manufacturers are eager to catch up to the Korean electronics giant, with some information about TSMC’s future semiconductor plans surfacing today. After the Taiwanese fab debuted its 16nm FinFET+ process a couple of weeks back, today we’ve learned that the company’s Integrated Fan-Out technology could become a feature on Apple’s next flagship.
According to Bernstein Research, TSMC has overcome the yield issues that the company faced with the process, that has been under development since April this year and the company will be able to practically implement it in processors around the same time Apple’s iPhone 7 will enter mass-production. The process, that nearly eliminates the area between the chip and the circuit board, and allows for its placement directly above the PCB.
Not only does this result in an overall thickness reduction of up to 1mm, which makes a lot of difference if you look at how thin the iPhone has become over the years, but due to the increased contact between the chip and the PCB, it should also result in performance efficiency of up to 20% and reduced heat build up. Not considering other factors that affect a processor’s performance that include die size, number of transistors, design and overall architecture, such gains should no doubt end up enticing Apple significantly.
But even though TSMC might have the technology, perhaps the main factor that comes into play when talking about Apple is the scope of production facilities. After all, probably production constraints were what forced Apple to choose two chip manufacturers this year instead of one and TSMC should also be working on expanding its facilities if it expects to woo Apple over completely. The iPhone 7 launch is well ahead by nearly a year for now, so all this makes is for some interesting food for thought. Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned for more.