Don't count out TSMC in battle for Apple A9 production

Don't count out TSMC in battle for Apple A9 production
Earlier this month, we passed along some speculation involving Apple's next chipset, the A9. According to that report, Samsung will be using the 14nm manufacturing process in order to make the chip 20% more powerful, while consuming 35% less battery life. Rival TSMC had earlier said that it would be mass-producing its 16nm chips in the third quarter of 2015, which would probably be too late to allow TSMC to fulfill Apple's needs.

On Thursday, TSMC announced that this mass-production would be taking place in the second quarter, not the third quarter as originally expected. This could be a sign that TSMC is already planning to supply Apple with the chip that will be used on its next-gen iDevices. Still, there is no guarantee that the company would be starting production in time to run off enough chips to cover the millions of next-gen iPhones and iPads that Apple will sell next year.

Considering that Samsung will be able to run 14nm chips off its line in time for the Apple iPhone 7, it could be that Samsung has locked up this business anyway. Most likely, we won't know for sure who wins this battle until some time next year. TSMC announced the change in its production schedule while releasing its latest quarterly earnings report. The news, while still vague, is just enough to keep TSMC alive as a potential chip supplier to Apple for next year.

source: TaipeiTimes via GforGames

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15 Comments

1. f35hunter

Posts: 238; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

I think that Samsung will win this battle !

11. vincelongman

Posts: 5625; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I hope so I want TSMC to focus on GPUs and consoles again

2. draconic1991

Posts: 200; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Why doesnt apple itself start producing them... Its not as if they have a shortage of money...

3. f35hunter

Posts: 238; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

Because it is cheaper for Apple to buy them rather than making them .

4. ph00ny

Posts: 1994; Member since: May 26, 2011

fabs are not very profitable and it's very expensive

5. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Their will start with that, when noone will be able to meet their needs, like with evrything.

6. torr310

Posts: 1626; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I hope TSMC wins. The Samsung empire is just too big and we need some balances.

7. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Funny that you say that... TSMC is not only an empire of nearly the same size as Samsung. They are also a pseudomonopoly in the business, as intel only serves intel and they have around 50% of the rest of the market. Just watch the graph in this page and you´ll see how dangerous is TSMC in reality:http://www.fabtech.org/news/_a/semiconductor_foundries_hit_bottom_in_1q_09/ In that graph, that little 7% that says SMIC is actually Samsung. You may end up not rooting for TSMC that much after reading that ;)

9. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

My mistake, Samsung has a 7% right now, it used to have so little it´s not even in the graph

12. torr310

Posts: 1626; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

those numbers are 5 years ago though, which Samsung wasn't the King of smart phones.

14. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

It was just to have one with a nice grahp, here you have the same from March this year:http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2014/03/26/2003586522 And another one with more data for 2012 results: Samsung was 4% and TSMC 50% Now things have changed a bit and Samsung has around 7%, but it is still much smaller.

15. ph00ny

Posts: 1994; Member since: May 26, 2011

TSMC is the biggest by far. They build GPUs for Nvidia and has slew of other clients.

8. StanleyG88

Posts: 240; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Samsung being very crafty, they are able to see EXACTLY what will be in the A9 while they prepare their next gen Exynos processors to compete with them.

10. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So?! They've seen all the other chips to. The Exynos is better than any of Apple's chips anyways, so it doesn't even matter. Seeing the design is one thing, but they can't copy iy. But they can get ideas. You think Apple doesn't do the same thing? You think Apple hasn't reversed engineered a Exynos or a SnapDragon? Shtop acting like Apple is some golden child or something.

13. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

How is exynos better than an A8X for example ? Samsung probably didn't even knew what Apple is doing with the A7 as they were caught up naughty and they don't have a 64-bit chip a year later.(not even mentioning that such thing could really hurt their manufacteuring contract) And then why you assumed that if someone dissasembles chips it has to be Apple ? They don't need to, exynos is an off-the shelf ARM design and ARM is very open about their architecture. And snapdragon ? They are using architecture with worse pCpH performance than first custom Apple core called Swift, which went out in 2012. They just went from 2 cores and 1,5 Ghz to 4 cores and 2,7 Ghz over the last 28 months. And they are also rushing 64-bit with an off-the shelf architecture as theirs is not ready yet. Maybe they did, but for what matter ?

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