The ‘Chipgate’ Could Exclude Samsung from Production of iPhone 7 SoC
With the arrival of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple has relied on Samsung and TSM regrading the production of its A9 SoC present in both devices. The A9 chip from Samsung is made on a 14nm process while TSMC’s chip is built on a 16nm process. On paper, one might expect Samsung processor to be slightly more energy-efficient and faster, but that’s not entirely the case.
It was found that the iPhones driven a Samsung chip are more energy-intensive than those that adopt a TSMC processor. Multiple reports even claimed that the TSMC chip provides 20% better battery life than its Samsung counterpart, which led to a new controversy called “Chipgate.” Apple however downplayed the issue by saying that the real quantifiable difference is in the order of 2-3% in favor of the solution TSMC.
Now, a new report has emerged online claiming that the controversy could lead to an end of the collaboration between Samsung and Apple, with the South Korean company that would be cut off from the role as a provider. A JP Morgan Securities analyst believes that TSMC will receive all of Apple’s A10 chip orders for next year’s iPhone 7 series, since Samsung’s A9 chip is underperforming.
We’re not sure at this point whether TSMC would be able to meet Apple’s iPhone 7 chip needs, especially when the A10 processor is expected to be built on newer 10nm technology. But it won’t be surprising considering TSMC did win all orders for iPhone 6 A8 chip in 2014. There is still a few quarters to go until Apple starts mass producing the iPhone 7, so the scenario could change dramatically over the coming months.