Rumor: Apple to use same manufacturer, processing method for Touch ID in next iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
Production of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in Apple's next iPhone will remain identical to the iPhone 5s, utilizing an 8-inch processing method run by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., according to the latest rumor.

Touch ID


TSMC was said to be investigating 12-inch processing methods for Touch ID in the next iPhone, but alleged yield issues have reportedly prompted Apple to go back to 8-inch wafer-level packaging, according to industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes. Sticking with the 8-inch process will give both Apple and TSMC "mature yield rates," the report said.

Though Apple apparently faced early production issues associated with the Touch ID secure fingerprint sensor, those alleged problems appear to have been addressed. Current yield rates for the 8-inch process are said to be above 95 percent, while trial runs with the 12-inch process were between 70 and 80 percent.

The report suggests that there are unlikely to be significant -- if any -- changes to the Touch ID sensor in Apple's next-generation iPhone. Currently, Touch ID functionality is limited to the flagship iPhone 5s, and is not available on the latest-generation iPad models.

Functionality of Touch ID also remains limited in its current state, only allowing users to securely unlock their iPhone or authorize iTunes purchases. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has hinted that his company has big plans for Touch ID in the future, including the prospect of mobile payments on the iPhone.

Patent filings made by Apple also suggest that the fingerprint sensor could in the future enable multi-user support, by uniquely identifying a person. Touch ID could also allow for trackpad-like controls of a mouse cursor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Kewl
  • Reply 2 of 13

    For iPad, iPad mini maybe?

  • Reply 3 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,019member
    Not sure what this 8 and 12 inch stuff is about, is that the total size of the wafer? Why is 12 better, just because the wafer is bigger and yields more units? Doesn't seem like a big deal.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,372member
    acatomic wrote: »
    For iPad, iPad mini maybe?

    I'd have to think this will be on all iDevices soon. I have to guess supply constraints initially limited this to phones. Heck why not a MacBook pro too?
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post



    Not sure what this 8 and 12 inch stuff is about, is that the total size of the wafer? Why is 12 better, just because the wafer is bigger and yields more units? Doesn't seem like a big deal.

    Essentially yes. It's the total diameter of the wafer. It yields more dies per wafer and is an effective way to drive down costs. It's not a big deal to end-customers, but it is a big deal to manufacturers.  

  • Reply 6 of 13
    Is it a rumor if Apple is going to use the same technology in the next iPhone as the current one? Would the real rumor be that they were going to use a different technology? This article is a desperate attempt to fill space on a webpage.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    The cost of processing larger wafers is virtually the same as smaller, outside of the slight increase in the cost of the wafer itself. You can also only move so many wafers thru the process at any one time. This means that if you can achieve the same or only slightly lower yields on the larger wafer, the cost to produce each die (the individual chips) goes down. The business of producing chips is one of margins, so even a slight reduction in the cost per die adds up quickly as the volumes are high. It is a VERY big deal!
  • Reply 8 of 13
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,429member
    Digitimes?

    Ahahahahaha!!!!! Based on their track record, it *won't* happen. Digitimes is more often wrong than right. A bettor would go opposite of what Digitimes says.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Makes perfect sense. Why? When iPhone 6 is already available at $200 having Touch ID, iPHone 5S slips to $100 with Touch ID, so Apple's need for Touch ID doubles just like that. On top of that if Apple decides to put Touch ID in iPads the need becomes three times or even four times. Hence Apple needs a stable and predictable supply hence sticking with 8" wafers.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,721member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by acatomic View Post

     

    For iPad, iPad mini maybe?


     

    Touch ID is almost purpose-built for selecting user profiles on the iPad/iPad mini.

  • Reply 11 of 13
    neilmneilm Posts: 640member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kent909 View Post



    Is it a rumor if Apple is going to use the same technology in the next iPhone as the current one? Would the real rumor be that they were going to use a different technology? This article is a desperate attempt to fill space on a webpage.

     

    I'll say.

     

    This boils down to "New rumor: nothing worthwhile to report."

  • Reply 12 of 13

    Rumour: next iPhone will still be able to make calls.

  • Reply 13 of 13
    Rumor, current iPhone uses Touch ID.
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