TSMC beats out Samsung, will be the exclusive producer of A12 chips for 2018 iPhone models?

Apple designs the chipsets used to power the iPhone, and then turns over the manufacturing to a company with the facilities to produce the component. In the last few years, Samsung and TSMC have been given the task (exclusively, or together) to produce these chips. TSMC has beaten out Samsung in the race to the 7nm process and according to industry sources, Apple has given the foundry an exclusive to produce the A12 SoC that will be used on the 2018 iPhone lineup. TSMC already has orders from 40 customers to produce chips for mobile devices, using the 7nm process.

TSMC reportedly plans on keeping the pressure on Samsung. It will incorporate extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology into its 7nm+ process, and will continue working toward developing the 5nm and 3nm processes. The company is building a new plant that will be used to test the 5nm process in the first half of 2019. In 2020, a fab that will produce 3nm chips will start construction.

The 2017 Apple iPhone models use the A11 bionic chipset that is made by TSMC using the 10nm process. It is Apple's first SoC to carry a hexacore CPU, and features two cores for heavy duty tasks that are 25% faster than the A10 chipset. The remaining four cores are power efficient and are 70% faster than the energy sipping cores used on the A10.

source: Digitimes

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69 Comments

1. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Good news...next is the screen hopefully. Bye bye Sambomb..

2. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

What's your problem, man? This is 2018 and you aren't showing any sign of change. Same old weird ranting of 2017. Besides, Samsung wouldn't be overtaken in the display department anytime soon, and I think TSMC doesn't even have a display division.

9. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

LG hopefully.... At least LG didn’t copy the first iPhone to enter smartphone world

19. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

techcrunch.com/2007/02/12/lg-says-apple-copied-pra​da-phone/

25. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

who said samsung copied Apple's iphone. obviously different os. Different interface, and experience, better looking bezels since day one. Micro SD card support. And a lot more. Lets say the idea of a button below the screen. Well many phones had it before the iPhone, and lets say samsung did it really matter if they did. I mean would you care if your tooth brush looks like mines. Your computer mouse by Logitech looks and a mouse. Or all phones of the 90s look like they are brothers. Same with TV. Its a norm to place buttons below the screen. If anything Samsung has been doing it for years befire the iPhone They just wanted to make it easier to feel out. And compare to Android users, at least we don't really have to say iPhone X copied s8, even though i think it looks nothing a like. Well the idea of copying for bezeless is still in the air for debate, but that would be stupid. All phones are now going bezeless, if one were to say a phone copied another because of bezeless, youre ignorant. Right now youre saying phone companies copy iphone, thats the same as saying Apple copying xiaomi or samsung

112. fastfreddy123

Posts: 66; Member since: Mar 25, 2017

Apple SURE cared...they sued anybody that came close to resembling there phone even though THEY stole the design from Sony. You Apple fanbois are such hypocrites.LOL @ SUING FOLKS BECAUSE THEY DESIGNED ROUNDED CORNERS. my ass , but hey now Apple is getting sued for copying that is amusing. How bout them batteries losers? is your phone slowed to a crawl because your phone is being optimized? HA , You chumps better fork out 1400 for the iphone X then next year you will need to fork out 1800 when your battery is optimized again...... but hey for 29.99 you can get it fixed if you are willing to be without your phone for a MONTH.. again GOOD LUCK WITH THAT...

35. yalokiy

Posts: 923; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

You must be brain damaged to see this as iphone copy:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_%28original%29

38. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

See post 26 and sure it will be your last comment.

107. yalokiy

Posts: 923; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

The link in #35 is the first android phone from samsung. Their entry to "smartphone world". The one you mention in #26 was a later model from samsung. Anyway, 26 only proves how dumb is US court for considering rounded corners and a button below screen as IP. Now that apple ditched the button, is that copying samsung s8? adding nfc and wireless charging, is that copying samsung s5?

106. smacsteve

Posts: 86; Member since: May 16, 2012

LG will overtake Samsung in OLED Mobile production by the end of 2018

115. thedizzle

Posts: 191; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

With that s**tty POLED? I hope not lol. LG still has issues with backlight bleeding. I love LG but thats the only reason I stay away from their phones now. If they fix that and get rid of POLED, sure ill buy another LG phone.

6. Techlover2018

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 14, 2017

I never hated Apple because they are competing with Samsung , but because they sold crap at high prices. But, on the other hand Sheeple like you blindly hate other brands because they keep beating your loving fruit. Well......keep dreaming, this is going to happen...............ever.

11. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Who care? You hate or not!!!!!!

84. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Why would you care that a company sells cap at high prices?!

10. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

It is good news for Samsung, they won't have to manufacture them for the underpaying Apple.

22. japkoslav

Posts: 1465; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Won't have to? But they surely wanted that job. What company would say no to money?

32. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Whatever they lose with Apple goig to TSMC, the freed up production capacity can be utilized for others and there's no shortage for demand. I doubt Samsung would lose much sleep over it and it wouldn't be the first or last time Apple came back to Samsung.

36. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Who has the same demand as Apple for high end chips?

47. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Doesn't have to be high-end chipsets, doesn't make a difference to those machines if they're used for high-end, mid-range or low-end chipsets. So whether they sell that capacity to Qualcomm, Apple or use it for their own Exynos range or any other company that wishes to use it. There is supply and there is demand. So if Apple moves their business elsewhere someone else would love to make use of it. Maybe Google will use Samsung for their own SoC. Maybe Samsung will use it to start selling their Exynos to other companies.

61. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

("doesn't make a difference to those machines if they're used for high-end, mid-range or low-end chipsets.") As well as used for the next AMD Ryzen!

89. aroutis

Posts: 35; Member since: May 05, 2015

Samsung themselves. As internal clients they actually sell more.

24. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

right, and who's going to beat out samsung in display. So good Apple bugs their display. Lmao

3. surethom

Posts: 1635; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

The screen in the number one battery hogger for most users, we need more efficient screens & better batteries. But still this is great news for the next flagship mobiles.

4. Hollowmost

Posts: 414; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

The A12 production is so small for what Samsung is doing in semi-con Sammy dominate the ddr4 , gddr6 , lpddr5 , hbm2/bm3 , nand storage for consumer and prosumer , AMD Vega and snapdragon .... I don't trust Tsmc roadMap .. the always late They were not the first to achieve 20nm ,16nm , 10nm and likely 7nm ( Samsung will produce AMD ryzen+ in q2 2018 on 7 nm )

13. Iodine

Posts: 1474; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

A12 production too small ? Like where else can you sell hundreds of millions of chips and make billions of dollars on a super sophisticated silicon ? Way more lucrative than some memory arrays. Search for some news how samsung wanted to get this deal for themselves. Regarding TSMC roadmap, they do not seem to get late compared to their own estimates. Samsung process and TSMC process might only have that “nm” rating in common and othervise can differ quite wildly. Not even mentioning that “nm” has little relation to actual size these days.

5. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Apple loves slave labour and offshore tax havens, so that's not a surprise, is it?

12. Iodine

Posts: 1474; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Why should Apple switch to a different manufacteur ? Looks like both consumers and Apple are more than happy what has been done with A10X and A11 at 10nm. Apple is designing TSMC for three years now. And it does not look like there is a better process avaliable right now. 7 nm will come up with more efficiency and that is always great, we can only imagine how much of a blowaway those chips will be.

28. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Only to be held back by iOS again.

31. AmashAziz

Posts: 2894; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Not iOS’s fault. Developers are responsible for designing apps that take full advantage of the chispets. They have the resources and frameworks (swift, Metal 2, ARkit, etc.)

62. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

He's talking about the functionality and features of iOS itself, not about 3rd party apps.

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