Apple's processor maker TSMC prepping 7nm chipsets for select customers

Apple's processor maker TSMC prepping 7nm chipsets for select customers
Apple has allegedly gone with the TSMC foundry for its upcoming A10 chipset, instead of the usual Samsung suspect, as TSMC is said to have a mastered the "fan-out" 16nm process for one particular customer that shan't be named. The "fan-out" packaging technology allows incorporating the silicon chips and the semiconductor compounds together, resulting in a more powerful yet more compact chippery.

That's what is allegedly going to be used in the iPhone 7, leading to a thinner frame yet larger battery than what we have with the iPhone 6s, but the Apple-TSMC partnership won't stop with 16nm, it seems, "fan-out" or not. Besides the move to 10nm for the Apple A11 chipset next year, TSMC has reportedly ironed out its 7nm production process, too, and will start using it in customer chipsets as soon as next year. 

Now, whether Apple is one of those customers, remains to be seen, but the previous rumors didn't peg TSMC as 7nm-ready before 2018, at least not in mass quantities, so it might be left for the iPhone 8 to arrive with a 7nm Apple A12 chipset, instead of the iPhone 7s, or whatever it's called next year. Of course, Samsung is not sitting idly by, and already made its own 10nm process official in the foundry roadmap, with 7nm to follow in its turn.

source: WeiFeng (Weibo)

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40 Comments

1. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Why news about 2018, please , stay in present. We all know 7nm and 5nm are gonna happen, just like jetpacks and flying cars.

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right.. as if they just want to find an excuse to make another apple article... btw, from last month:http://www.phonearena.com/news/TSMC-and-ARM-working-on-7nm-process-for-iPhone-8s-A12-chipset_id79329

6. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Probably helped by people like you, who obviously hate Apple enough to use an Apple-inspired name, who keep clicking on articles about Apple to whine about them, thus increasing traffic to the site for those articles and inspiring PhoneArena to make more of them... Well done.

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

as if you didnt keep clicking on apple article and increasing traffic, lol..

10. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Ahh but I don't hate Apple... I may switch away from the iPhone this year if the 7 is as uninspired as it's sounding, with all the "good stuff" saved for next year but we'll see!

11. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Correct, ibend. Jimrod clicks on Apple articles too. Hypcrite much.

14. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

What are you talking about? I click on Apple articles because I buy Apple products. Durr... :p You and iBend (as well as a few dozen others) only click on them because you hate Apple so much you obsess about it and have to find an opportunity to criticise...

16. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

It's same way how you click on Android articles to criticise. Are you any better?

17. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

If you ever looked back - I rarely say anything negative about Android, I'm more against trolls and people hating on things endlessly, I'm positive about good products regardless and defend Apple if people are talking crap (often) because I know and use the products. I also criticise the bad things about Apple products for the same reason.

22. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Huh, you have never criticised Android devices? look at your comments #47 and #79 article:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Apples-iPhone-6S-Plus-smashes-its-Android-competition-in-AnTuTus-2015-Top-10-chart_id77395

27. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

You made my point exactly - in #47 I was criticising the Android USERS who bang on about benchmarks endlessly until Apple is ahead and then they all-of-a-sudden don't mean anything. In #79 I was criticising the irrelevant off-screen benchmarks because no-one uses their phone off-screen, as well as Samsung for cheating (which they did!). In neither case have I criticised Android as a platform.

31. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Off-screen benchmark is RELEVANT, because the screen resolution will not affect the score, hence a fair score versus the low-resolution iPhone! In on-screen test, the low res iPhone scores more points and iFans brag about it. So, off-screen tests matters, it f*cking matters!

32. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

It's only relevant because it helps stupidly specced 4K screens on 5" phones (which are completely unnecessary) look better on paper. In REALITY you only ever use your phone ON-SCREEN so that's the performance that actually matters. I don't rate my car engine on how well it would perform if my car were a 100kg go-cart do I? Because that would be silly...

33. AlikMalix unregistered

That's the point, jimrod is right offscreen is pointless - just to brag about speed you will never achieve using the devices... It's just relevant to those that build and test CPUs - you and I are not those people - we use devices as they're shipped - with the screen attached. But if you play video games and watch videos on you phone without screen on - that's just you, then - the rest of us love having the screen on!!!

40. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

I agree, makes me cringe when I see bloggers judging graphics based on offscreen performance, including this one claiming "no tablet can match the iPad Pro's CPU/GPU": http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/11/12/ipad-pro-geekbench/ Whereas it's still lagging behind the i3 Surface Pro 3, not to talk about the i5/i7 variants nor the Surface Pro 4 for that matter: http://www.dereferer.org/?http%3A%2F%2Fbit%2Ely%2F1O3fb5D

42. AlikMalix unregistered

I dont understand, both links are praising iPad Pro. And the offscreen on that first link are compared against other Apple products only, just to show the difference in CPU and GPU speeds of the hardware vs. older models. On screen it's still fast and fluid (as per article). They're also saying it's on par with Surface Pro 4 -- which is stupid because iPad Pro was NEVER intended to be the HyBlet that the Surface Pro is!!! Comparing the two is like saying a sportscar that's designed to take 2 passengers for a fun ride is worse than a truck that can carry a load of dirt. Some want a sports car others want a truck.... they're two different products... If you want an Apple product that runs Full Fledged software, Apple builds laptops - take your pick... Either way, I'd get the Pro and the Pencil specifically what they're designed for - drawing and design. It would be a waste of my money to buy it to play games and do same tasks as regular iPad which is cheaper. I love to draw, and have $185 worth of pens and styluses for my ipad 3. After using the pencil on an iPad Pro - I'm convinced that this is what I NEEDED in a tablet. Surface Pro is great device, but for what it can do - I rather do on a PC because I dont like using laptops.... and surface pro is basically a laptop with detachable keyboard (from my perspective). There's no need to "cringe" at bloggers who use offscreen to judge graphics - it's just pointless unless you're just comparing CPU speeds of older models (like the article you linked above)... Comparing CPU speeds of iOS vs Android devices is stupid because the two are extremely different on how OS handles processing. Android is not as optimized as iOS because Android must run on many variations of devices - so the solution is to up the specs, iOS can be easily optimized because of full control in-house - thus it can achieve same performance without the need for high spec numbers. There's no wrong or right way - just different... Stop trying to be sarcastic, your links prove that you were trying to be, but failed...

43. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Wow, essay writter, AlikMalix!!

46. AlikMalix unregistered

Some people just need to be explained again and again, same thing over and over.

2. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Good, hopefully Apple end up sticking with one decent supplier like TSMC (risky as that may be) who isn't their main competition (Samsung) because it means maximum optimisation and best outcome for the end-user. The public keep getting stuck with multiple versions of devices such as the latest Snapdragon vs Exynos issues with the Galaxy S7 that means some are essentially getting a lesser product for their money. You can bet all the models sent for test reviews aren't the under-performing versions...

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

both are great tough... SD820 is blazing fast, while exynos have great battery life..

7. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yes but from all I've seen the Exynos versions beat the SD820 ones in every area related to the processor, I know it's much like saying "This Ferrari isn't as fast as this Ferrari" but still, if you're paying for the F40 you don't want to receive the F355... (those are the last decent models I can reliably remember :p)

12. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

well.. its not like they buying cat in a sack, the processor it used is written outside of the box (as 64bit octacore.. or quadcore..) if the buyer know about spec, they can hunt that phone on online market (but sometimes it have LTE band limitation :-/ ) if the buyer didnt really know about spec, they'll be happy with whatever the get.. :D

34. AlikMalix unregistered

F40 and F355 are the best - wow dude - you just jumped on a new level of respect from me (if that matters at all, but still).

35. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Cheers! Lost interest in the post-millennium Ferrari's, they became messy, ugly and computerised blandness!

37. jalebi2000

Posts: 181; Member since: Mar 01, 2015

The samsung chop was both cheaper to produce and faster as well. If you look at youtube reviews, you can find that tsmc beats Samsung by a bit. But hat is because of the silicon lottery. Tom's hardware did a review on this and the samsung chip beats the tsmc in battery life, performance and cost

3. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Okay Here we all go again. Apple has picked TSMC as it official SoC manufacture leaving behind Sams.... Wait TSMC cant meet the demands because it has inadequate capacity So apple has called up old reliable Samsung to manufacture 50% to 60% of their SoC Blah Blah Blah we hear this every year. Lets face it Samsung and Apple are in a Marriage and need each other no matter how much they compete with each other. Oh, by the way Sony"s Cmos Foundry is offline, due to the earthquake, for sometime and Apple, who has to start their iPhone 7 production soon, only has one other manufacture that has the capacity it needs - Samsung Cmos division. Matering Fan in fan out does not matter if you don't have the capacity for Apple they will outsource the reset to Samsung

9. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

Which means Apple depends on Samsung, but Samsung does'nt need Apple in producing it's devices.

13. bucky

Posts: 3785; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

They need apple to see what they should do next and Google to provide their OS.

15. ananthu07 unregistered

Wait a second, who came up with 4K recording on a phone, who is the one to switch to AMOLED in 2016 or 17, who doesn't even have a VR compatible device of their own(not counting Google's support for iPhones), and who is the one late to the party with waterproofing their phones(Samsung did not invent it but they did it 2 years ago). AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? Don't bash a company just because you like Apple. Apple is a great company. That doesn't mean everything else is bad. Let that sink in now.

19. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

"They need apple to see what they should do next"... Huh? Samsung has had alot of features in it's flagships which Apple just copied and still lack some: quick charge, versatile NFC (not restricted to it's payment system) etc... Samsung invests alot in R&D to get innovations for their next flagship. What innovation can Apple teach Samsung? smh

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