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Samsung out, TSMC to be the sole manufacturer of iPhone 7 processors

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Samsung out, TSMC to be the sole manufacturer of iPhone 7 processors
This isn't the first time Samsung has been bumped from the manufacturing roster for Apple's iPhone processors, but the company apparently just can't keep up with TSMC's manufacturing process so Samsung is out for this year's work. Apple has reportedly given TSMC the full contract for manufacturing the next gen iPhone 7 processor, expected to be called the A10 chip.

Word has it that what put TSMC over the top was its capabilities with 10-nanometer manufacturing technology, so it seems reasonable that would play a role in the next iPhone SoC. A 10-nanometer chip would make it smaller and more power efficient which would mean Apple would be able to make the iPhone thinner without it affecting battery life. Of course, most users would prefer that the iPhone stay the same thickness (or get thicker) if it would mean even better battery life, but Apple never wants to listen to customers when it means not making a thinner and lighter iPhone. 

No other news about the iPhone 7 or the A10 is known right now and it may be a while before we hear anything else too solid. The next iPhone isn't expected to be announced until September, so we'll have to survive on rumors until then. 

64 Comments
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posted on 10 Feb 2016, 20:59 5

1. lyndon420 (Posts: 3730; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Good. Glad to hear it :)

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:05 10

2. GreekGeek (Posts: 1276; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Lol, why would that be any good?
are TSMC chips better than Samsung's?

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:12 2

3. joevsyou (Posts: 670; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


"Word has it that what put TSMC over the top was its capabilities with 10-nanometer manufacturing technology"

what apple wants, i guess so

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:23 18

6. Subie (Posts: 436; Member since: 01 Aug 2015)


Time will tell how good chips on that process will be. After all weren't the 16nm(TSMC) A9 chips more efficient then the 14nm(Samsung) ones. Good luck to them though.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:53 2

21. iushnt (Posts: 1484; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


that's still debatable

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 14:03

77. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7913; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


No they weren't. There was a 3-5% gap which si within the margin of error. PA simply tried to make a big deal out of it. It basically came down to, the TSMC having the battery last 20 mins longer. Which for an iPhone is a drop of water in a bucket.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:46 2

12. vincelongman (Posts: 3980; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


But TSMC's 10nm process isn't ready yet

The A10 will be either TSMC's new 16FF+ or Samsung's new 14LPP

Speculation is that both are based of 16FF and 14LPE, but with taller fins for lower leakage and better performance

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 01:40 3

36. ibend (Posts: 3195; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


10nm is still far away.. and intel will be the first one with 10nm

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:49 10

13. Hallyu (Posts: 311; Member since: 21 Jul 2015)


Just because tsmc would be the first to use the10nm tech (if the rumor turns to be the truth) doesn't mean that it would be the best to put money on it. Looking back at how tsmc screw thing up with the SD 810, and now Qualcomn decided to choose Samsung to manufacture SD 820, it really shows that tsmc is losing ground and credit and that's why they rush with the 10nm process. Anyone can be the first in everything, but the question is does it deliver reliability as expected? Samsung R and D spending is no joke and it just needs time to craft the perfectness.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:01

85. cheetah2k (Posts: 1495; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Oh god, you know TSMC hasn't even produced a reliable 14um chip yet, and now TSMC boasting about 10um tech?

So the iphone 7 will be coming in a few years then?

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:30 7

7. MANOFSTEEL (Posts: 38; Member since: 25 Nov 2015)


TSMC is number one in the world for a reason don't you think.....???

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:58 5

22. iushnt (Posts: 1484; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


did you verify? I just checked, it's way below Samsung!!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 06:26

60. MANOFSTEEL (Posts: 38; Member since: 25 Nov 2015)


Yeeepppp, SS is 3rd....

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 11:36

73. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)


It completely doesn't matter for you as end user who will make tbe chip.. This is just bitch work job who wants to make money..

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:13 4

4. ph00ny (Posts: 1132; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Except TSMC has a reputation for yield issues. Google up yield issues and nvidia. Not sure why they're still working together

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:39 1

8. elitewolverine (Posts: 5017; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Depends on the requirements and design more than just simply yield. They produce some of the highest most secret chips....I wouldn't bank against them.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:41

9. Unordinary (Posts: 1013; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


I mean, when it comes to Apples high demands, yea.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:07 12

16. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3214; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


lol and again apple will come running to samsung please please help us,
samsung should 3 times the price then

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 23:18

24. zeeBomb (Posts: 1734; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


It was a risky move to dual source, Apple.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:17

5. medicci37 (Posts: 1269; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Yes I thought the article explained that

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:42 2

10. martinjhm271 (Posts: 37; Member since: 16 Aug 2015)


i can't wait.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:44 4

11. Tizo101 (Posts: 393; Member since: 05 Jun 2015)


I call BS... 10 nm really?

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:52 2

15. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2086; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


I don't see 10nm being ready in time, as cool as it would be. If they somehow managed to shove their 10nm development cycle 6-12 months to the left, it's possible, but that would be a Herculean effort.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 23:26 1

27. zeeBomb (Posts: 1734; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


10nm will come in the 7S...just wait and see.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 21:04

87. cheetah2k (Posts: 1495; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


TSMC couldnt make 14um work reliably.

Anyhow, apple owners love cheap 5h!t parts in their premium price consumer goods :D

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 21:50 7

14. Macready (Posts: 811; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


Chances of Apple moving from 14nm lpp to 10nm lpp in just one year:.. close to zero. Chances of TSMC having enough 10nm yields before august to supply all iPhone 7 chips: close to zero. Chances of Apple betting on a single supply source for the main chip for the one device that supplies 68% of their income:close to zero.

So many times we saw similar posts last year : Samsung out. No, TSMC out. Etc. Wrong every time.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:20

17. oozz009 (Posts: 469; Member since: 22 Jun 2015)


Regardless of whether Apple chooses Samsung or TSCM, I'm sure the results will turn out to be pretty similar in the end. That was the story with the A9 chip, except from the 2-3% of battery life of different that there was between the two, the Overal results were largely the same.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:22 1

18. skyline88 (Posts: 437; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


glad to hear that, doomsday for Crapppple coming soon.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:24 8

19. AlikMalix (Posts: 4849; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


I don't know about this. First the little gain with tsmc over Samsung is negligible, and if you ask me, samsungs quality and experience is a tad better than tsmc. This could be due to Apple isn't expecting as much sales of next iPhone (based on predictions) and Apple doesn't have to tap both manufacturers in order to fill demand anymore. And Samsung already caved into lower costs for Apple. I'd go with Samsung if I was Apple. Will just have to see - they been rumor-ing this nearly every year - and it never panned out. My best guess of that happens it's only due to lower demand for iPhone.

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 22:34 2

20. hanabi (Posts: 177; Member since: 08 Oct 2015)


Yayyy so the new iphone will be made up of all Chinese components. Hope this lowers price

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 23:24 3

26. Bernoulli (Posts: 3705; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


It's been like this for a while.... where did you think Samsung made their components? Don't tell me South Korea.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:02

43. Cicero (Posts: 848; Member since: 22 Jan 2014)


Vietnam?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:27

48. keithtae (Posts: 341; Member since: 25 Mar 2015)


India and vietnam

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 04:51

54. catze86 (Posts: 507; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


My Samsung Wave made in Korea

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:05

44. kanagadeepan (Posts: 892; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


Lowering of price means STILL MUCH MUCH MORE profit for apple, but NOT so for customers..

posted on 10 Feb 2016, 23:11 4

23. Good-Is-Better (Posts: 70; Member since: 12 Nov 2015)


What ever. I don't intend buying any icrap with their ridiculous prices.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 01:30 1

33. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


If this is true, Samsung's financial results this year will be even worse than last year lol

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:59 1

49. Good-Is-Better (Posts: 70; Member since: 12 Nov 2015)


Is that what you think? Samsung has SD820 to supplier alone. And more manufacturers are turning on Samsung for Amoled and lot others.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 05:24

58. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


SD820 will end up in flagships. Android flagships, simply don't compare to the iPhone in terms of pure sales volumes. Android has an ENORMOUS user base, something like 80% of which is low and midrange devices. Samsung is used to having Apple there to keep their numbers up. The loss of it will make an impact. And the SD820 can't fill that gap.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 10:09

68. j2001m (Posts: 2758; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


It can as the sd820 is going in all Samsung hi end phones I. The USA, Samsung did not make all the A9 and the deal they did was crap, Samsung also getting the sd820 at cost

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 01:43 5

37. ibend (Posts: 3195; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


10nm? lol, thats pure BS..
they pick TSMC because its alot cheaper.. TSMC already lost SD820 contract, so they lower their price as low as possible to get all A10 contract too keep their company busy

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 01:57 2

40. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Who cares what their reasoning is. At the end of the day, the bottom line is what counts. And the bottom line is that if Samsung loses the contract, their semiconductor division is going to have a rather s**tty year.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 04:57

56. catze86 (Posts: 507; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


Realy?

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 06:09

59. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Maybe, maybe not, but that's what I'm betting on. Time will tell :) Oh the excitement lol :'D

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:02 1

42. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Sammy will get some of the orders just wait and see.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:14 1

45. alligator (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Jan 2016)


Quantity vs Quality. Apple tries to replace the biggest producer of chips and kill one of the best and profitable businesses of Samsung. Not an easy task taking in mind that they are the biggest producer. Risky move as this would generate tons of problems in the iPhones if the TSMC chips are not on the same quality level (iPhone owners always expect to have the best phone).

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:19 1

47. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


If I'm not mistaken, TSMC chips beat out the Samsung made chips last year (Personally I don't give a s**t who manufactures the chip lol)

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 14:09

79. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7913; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Samsung just replaced Apple with Qualcomm. Qualcomm chips are placed in far more phones than Apple produces in a full year.

With the SnapDragon 800-805, more than 700,000 phones/tablets used this platform. What's that, 2 years worth of chips. How many phones did Apple sell in 3 years? Maybe 600M?

Samsung doesn't need Apple, but like any company you hate to lose a customer. But Samsung can easily replace Apple money.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 19:37

83. elitewolverine (Posts: 5017; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Their profits are also much lower per chip.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 03:15 2

46. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Doesn't matter who manufactures the Apple A10 because it's going to be a beast either way, just sayin.

All the new manufacturing processes are so close to each other,that there isn't really a noticeable difference, as of right now anyway.

The TSMC A9 is slightly more power efficient but the Samsung A9 scored slightly better in performance benchmarks. Both advantages are so slight that you wouldn't notice in everyday usage.

Rocking a Samsung made A9 in my 6s Plus and i'm ending the day with 12-27% battery life left and that's with heavy usage. No having to put a phone on the charger unit I'm going to sleep, is a win in my book.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 04:03

50. alligator (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Jan 2016)


Close but not the same. Snapdragon 810 chip compared to Exynos 7420 was almost the same chip but S810 had overheating issues that's why many brands decided to use another chip. TSMC can have a better price but QA could be on a lower level.

In the same time everything could be only a speculation.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 04:31

53. Shocky (Posts: 2107; Member since: 16 May 2012)


It's too early to verify this, it's not ready yet and there could be further delays.

They will probably end up pushing forward to meet the agreement with Apple and quality will suffer.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 06:57

61. HonestRealist (Posts: 196; Member since: 25 Jan 2016)


Food for thought:http://9to5mac.com/2015/08/26/tsmc-samsung-chips-apple/

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 06:59

62. darkkjedii (Posts: 19470; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


The TSMC chips did give better battery life. We'll see how it goes, they better be able to keep up with the high demand for the 7.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 10:15

69. j2001m (Posts: 2758; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


It only gave better battery life on fast drain tests, this is because the way Apple had to setup the 2 CPUs in the iphome and the software linked to them, if ther was no tsmc CPU used then the Samsung CPU will have lasted way longer in that test

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 11:48

74. darkkjedii (Posts: 19470; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


You coulda saved all that lol. It still have better battery life.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 14:13

80. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7913; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


20 more minutes of power is really that big a deal? For a phone that already has terrible battery-life? lol

I guess more is more even if its only more by "1".

Yep it was better, it offered an extra 20 mins of battery-life over Samsung's chip. More is more...YAY!!!!!

That's 20 extra minutes to find a plug before you phone dies. If your phones dies within one day of usage, yyou're using it to much anyways and I dont think 20 mins will matter much. But it matters so much to you iFans though.

It sounds like this "Hey the iPhone has terrible battery life, but TSMC's chip will give it an additional 20 mins over Samsung's chip". YAYAAAAA!!!!!! We beat Samsung?!

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 08:30

64. Ruturaj (Posts: 1171; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


I hope Samsung uses 14nm fabs for more of it's processors, especially for smartwatches. Smartwatches with chip built on 14nm would perform better, last longer.

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 09:12

66. plasm24 (Posts: 8; Member since: 13 Dec 2015)


and could apple f**king please put fast charging like seriously..iphone battery charging time is the worst ever..even low end android got it

posted on 11 Feb 2016, 12:29

75. 2faraway (Posts: 75; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


well someone beating intel on the process node race!

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