Report: TSMC Tapes out Apple’s 10nm A11 Chips To be Used in 2017 iPhone
The contract chip manufacturing giant TSMC has reportedly begun to tape out the design of Apple’s A11 processor that is expected to power the next generation 2017 iPhone.
According to a report from DigiTimes, the A11 chip is built on a 10nm FinFET process technology which should “achieve certification” in the fourth quarter of 2016. This means the company should be able to deliver product samples to its customers for validation in the first quarter of 2017.
The report further states that TSMC has already secured two-thirds of Apple’s A11 chip orders, while the remaining third of the orders will go to Samsung’s competing foundry tech.
In the past, Apple has opted for TSMC’s 16nm FinFET and Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process technologies for the development of its A9 SoC, a chip which was used on their iPhone 6s. Samsung is said to have got the the majority of those orders; however, some reports claimed that the iPhones driven by Samsung chips are more energy-intensive than those that adopt a TSMC processor, which led to a controversy called “Chipgate.”
Based on that controversy, the A10 is expected to be built exclusively by TSMC, which should help the Taiwan-based chip maker see an increase in revenue in the Q2 of this year.
While the A11 chip orders will be split between TSMC and Samsung, a report from Motley Fool belives the Apple A12 will be built entirely at TSMC thanks to the company`s fairly quick transition toward the 7nm node.