Apple's demand for a price cut on A9 chips could lead to a major production cutback for TSMC

Apple's demand for a price cut on A9 chips could lead to a major production cutback for TSMC
Apple has allegedly demanded that both Samsung and TSMC cut the price of the Apple A9 chipset that the pair sell to the tech giant for the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus. Samsung has apparently agreed to the new terms, hoping to become Apple's main source for the chip. Samsung has agreed to give Apple back-end services for practically no cost.

Because TSMC has not been as open to lowering its pricing, the company might end up with fewer A9 orders from Apple than expected. Without orders for 16nm process chips from other companies to replace the shortfall from Apple, TSMC might have to reduce production from 30,000 wafers a month using the 16nm FinFET process, to fewer than 20,000 wafers.

For months, we have heard conflicting reports over which company will be producing the lion's share of A9 chips. Back in April, the rumor at that time had Samsung and GlobalFoundries producing all of the A9 chipsets with TSMC getting shut out. That apparently was not true. In June, a report from China had TSMC ramping up mass production of the A9.

If current speculation that the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus will be unveiled on September 9th is legit, some quantities of the A9 chip have had to already tumble down the assembly line of one or both chipmakers.

source: DigiTimes

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6s Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2750 mAh(24h 3G talk time)

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95 Comments

1. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

Can't wait to see how the A9 performs. Definitely going to be a powerhouse.

74. engineer-1701d unregistered

damit samsung keep the same price force apple to pay, they have the money and talk sheet about you and others, then try lawsuit over anything to get more money

87. Simona unregistered

That company consists of bunch of disgraceful cheeky rude scumbags that they gonna whinge ebaut that already low price.. They seems to want it for free d-heads.. And Samsung is so stupid and sticking themselwes in apples dirty ass!!

2. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I have a feeling it will be quad-core. The A8x is tricore. I'm not really into the specs like that, but with Apple adding all these features, it's time to step it up a bit.

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

They need to double the cores and double the RAM. I wish they'd double the storage too, but we all know that's not going to happen soon...

38. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and double the battery.. but its apple.. they wont suddenly make spec jump like that, it doesnt matter if their spec lag behid competitor, small increment on spec is enough to make isheep happy

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

lol They wont be using a quad core for an 1810 mah battery. The A8X is tricore because the ipad air 2 has a fat battery and the X means higher end tablet level specs. The plain old A9 wont be quad core. Guaranteed. Maybe the A9X might be quad core though but it all depends on how crazy the Tegra K2 is.

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5690; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also don't forget heat The iPad Air 2 is huge compared to the iPhones So much more space to dissipate and absorb heat The A8X in a phone would overheat more than the 810

24. sgodsell

Posts: 7341; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The tegra K1 is has 380 GFLOPS, and the X1 has 1 teraflop. The A8 is around 230 GFLOPS. But what does the Nvida chips have to do with Apples chips? Answer, nothing.

35. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

They put an A8X in the iPad Air 2 strictly because Nvidia released a tablet only SOC for the Nexus 9. Otherwise Apple would have just used an A8 in the iPad Air 2. It's quite obvious if Google didn't use the K1 Apple would be quite happy using the phone SOC in iPad Air 2 like they used the plain old A7 for the iPad Air.

39. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Or you know, it's not like the A5X or A6X chips ever existed before in other iPads (iPad 3 and iPad 4.)

69. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

They changed their strategy with the iPad Air and only brought it back for one obvious reason. You know, when you look for patterns you look at the most recent, which is the iPad Air using a plain A7. The iPad 3 and iPad 4 are way too old to consider them as a reason the iPad Air 2 used an A8X instead of an A8.

41. AlikMalix unregistered

Apple always had the A5X, A6X before this is just business as usual. Trying to make a troll comment form ignorance is pittiful. Either way I bet when iPhone comes out it will be the fasted and quickest of anything during that time. Apple and android always leapfrogging in terms of performance. Spec numbers don't matter if a hamster in a wheel outperforms a car.

44. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

The ONLY competition the A9 chip will have is the Exynos 7420/7422. Samsung did one hell of a job this year in terms of performance and is still the king of SoCs. S810... Let's not even talk about it lol.

53. -SIR-

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 03, 2015

Lol. The guy who use to praise Snapdragon and use to dislike Exynos, now loves Exynos. The funny thing is, even Apples custom made SOCs, failed with homegrown Exynos. The rest are underdogs of Samsung Exynos.

54. -SIR-

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 03, 2015

Accept the Nvidia TegraK2. Which is the mighty ultimate.

60. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Show me where I've said Exynos is garbage because as far as I know, since 2010 with their Hummingbird processor they've topped everyone else in terms of performance. But like I said, I'll wait.

63. -SIR-

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 03, 2015

Last year, you was disputing about the S800 vs Exynos 5410. A15 vs A9 Arm cortex.

64. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Exynos 5410 lacked LTE, which sucked. The S800 is obviously superior since it was released AFTER the 5410. That alone is a reason why you should just stop trying.

65. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

And just like it, the N10 was dangerously close to outperforming it if they didn't.

67. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Nothing troll about it. They were going to stop using X processors but was forced to X it up again because Google decided to use a tablet only SOC. Apple is all about the money and would jump at the chance to use the plain old A9 on the iPad Air 3. Heck they didn't even use an A8 on the iPad mini 3, they used an A7 and just added Touch ID because they can get away with it because the Nexus 7 only had an SD600. Just because you Apple clowns can't see the same patterns I can it doesn't mean I am trolling. Lol

81. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Just stop. Seriously just stop. You're embarrassing yourself.

90. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Not at all. iPad mini 3 adding nothing to iPad mini 2 except force touch says it all. Apple would have used the plain old A8 if they thought they could get away with it plain and simple. So please use your head for once.

43. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

I guess you never heard of the A5X or A6X.

71. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I have and that's old news. The A7 in the iPad Air is a better example because you know, it's recent.

82. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Or maybe it was the first chip that Apple released as 64-bit capable?

91. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The A8 is 64-bit capable and they still made the A8X. They would have made the A7X if that was a true pattern but they didn't because they wanted to scam us. Like they would have scammed us with an A8 if the Tegra K1 didn't blow the A8 out of the water in benchmarks.

57. sgodsell

Posts: 7341; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It certainly is NOT obvious if Google or any other Android OEM used any SOC in any tablet or phone. Considering Apples ecosystem of apps is strictly locked into using Apples SoC's. What is more obvious is that Android SoC's have been surpassing Apple for quite some time now. Apple has been keeping the iPhone 6's resolution low so it can maintain the look of faster graphics speed. For instance if Samsung made a Galaxy S6 with the same low resolution display as the iPhone 6 (1334x750) instead of using a QHD display (2560x1440). Then the S6 would be pushing a lot less pixels, which works out to 3.7 times faster. In fact in the Android flagship camp, there is no flagship device that even offers anything less then a Full HD display (1920x1080). Yet Apple likes to think a low resolution display (iPhone 6) is flagship material. This is 100% a fact.

30. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

Nvidia's discontinuing the Tegra series due to lack of sales.

28. dimas

Posts: 3359; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Samsung just want apple's money for producing the iphone chips. They still won't make it as powerful as their homegrown exynos.

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