Rumor: TSMC preparing trial run of 10-nanometer ARM chips, could power future iPhones

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 2015
Apple chipmaking partner Taiwan Manufacturing Semiconductor Co. is reportedly gearing up to test production of 10-nanometer size processors beginning in June, according to a new rumor.




TSMC's alleged plans were first reported by UDN.com, which cited unnamed sources suggesting that the company plans to have a 10-nanometer pilot line in 12 factories. TSMC is said to be hoping to start signing contracts to produce chips before the end of the year.

One key partner expected to be eyeing the 10-nanometer process is Apple. Sources reportedly indicated that TSMC could handle the bulk, or even all, of manufacturing duties for a so-called "A10" chip that might arrive in 2016, as noted by G for Games.

Exactly what features or manufacturing process the "A10" processor might feature is impossible to say so far out. Apple is believed to have begun solidifying partners for its anticipated "A9" processor in late 2014, ahead of anticipated September 2015 launch of new iPhones.

Rumors have suggested the "A9" chip might use a 14-nanometer manufacturing process. Smaller processors are more efficient, resulting in power savings that can allow devices like the iPhone to see improved battery life, even as the chips themselves become more powerful and capable.

AppleInsider's own sources indicated in March that the "A9" chip will be paired with 2 gigabytes of RAM in this year's iPhone upgrade. Additional RAM would allow iOS to leave background tasks and tabs in Safari open for longer without a need to reload or refresh.

The current-generation 64-bit A8 chip is manufactured through a 20-nanometer process, which itself was a reduction from the previous A7 processor. It's believed that TSMC is responsible for the majority of A8 chip production.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,794member
    Imagine this in the world's first 64-bit smartwatch!
  • Reply 2 of 26
    davendaven Posts: 626member
    Wouldnt it be ironic if the A10 chip was a 10 nm chip?
  • Reply 3 of 26
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    daven wrote: »
    Wouldnt it be ironic if the A10 chip was a 10 nm chip?

    And running iOS 10!
  • Reply 4 of 26
    toddzrxtoddzrx Posts: 223member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post



    Wouldnt it be ironic if the A10 chip was a 10 nm chip?

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    And running iOS 10!

     

    ....and it'd be the 10th iPhone model.

  • Reply 5 of 26
    ingelaingela Posts: 217member

    I still have the 5s, and will trade up this year. The thing that's been on my mind is battery life. I'm looking forward to what benefits this years A9 has in that department with it's smaller die size on the already good battery life for the 6 plus S. A larger phone is not really my thing but since I have to move on, I'm thinking I should do so with the longest battery life as the trade off.

  • Reply 6 of 26
    lwiolwio Posts: 99member
    Anyone know what the practical limit is?
  • Reply 7 of 26
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    And running iOS 10!



    A-10, Thunderbolt II...Now with more AGM-65 Maverick missiles.

     

    You can't make this stuff up, though the Air Force hasn't yet developed Yosemite Air to Surface missiles.

  • Reply 8 of 26
    scartartscartart Posts: 200member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

     

    I still have the 5s, and will trade up this year. The thing that's been on my mind is battery life. I'm looking forward to what benefits this years A9 has in that department with it's smaller die size on the already good battery life for the 6 plus S. A larger phone is not really my thing but since I have to move on, I'm thinking I should do so with the longest battery life as the trade off.




    Why the concern? The iPhone 6 is already a massive improvement over the 5s in terms of battery life.

  • Reply 9 of 26
    joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post



    Wouldnt it be ironic apt if the A10 chip was a 10 nm chip?

  • Reply 10 of 26
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

     

     

    It would be as good a time as any if they were to ditch the numbering of iPhones and call that itteration the iPhone X

  • Reply 11 of 26
    65c81665c816 Posts: 133member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     



    A-10, Thunderbolt II...Now with more AGM-65 Maverick missiles.

     

    You can't make this stuff up, though the Air Force hasn't yet developed Yosemite Air to Surface missiles.




    You can already get YASM on your Apple... :)

  • Reply 12 of 26
    leavingthebiggleavingthebigg Posts: 1,252member

    Has the sky fallen?

     

    In this article, this publisher did not state that Samsung was the 14nm manufacturer of the A9 chip as it has done in nearly every other article referencing the A9 this year.

     

    This is a HUGE change! This time, "Rumors have suggested...".

     

    A+ and two thumbs up today for this type of reporting!!!!

     

    I wonder if the true A9 manufacturer is already known by this publication and that is the reason for the change in editorial. Also, with the change in reporting style, I am feeling even more positive that TSMC has been the A9 16nm manufacturer all along and the other company pushed the false rumors in attempts to make itself look better even though it and its partner were having major manufacturing issues with 14nm long after a manufacturer would have been chosen by Apple.

  • Reply 13 of 26
    lwio wrote: »
    Anyone know what the practical limit is?

    I was mid-aged when the practical limit was thought to be 1000nm... what anyone thinks may be a practical limit, is only based on the kind of technology one is imagining being used. Current technology is already far beyond anything I can imagine.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    I was mid-aged when the practical limit was thought to be 1000nm... what anyone thinks may be a practical limit, is only based on the kind of technology one is imagining being used. Current technology is already far beyond anything I can imagine.
    LOL! I was going to post the exact same thing. Physics dictated that was the absolute limit, but there were doubts that we could even reach that...
    (There were hopes that a computer could be reduced to the size of a desk too!)
  • Reply 15 of 26
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    TMSC ROCKS!
    I hope they nail it!
  • Reply 16 of 26
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    LOL! I was going to post the exact same thing. Physics dictated that was the absolute limit, but there were doubts that we could even reach that...
    (There were hopes that a computer could be reduced to the size of a desk too!)


    YES!!!

    Someone on another article commented that the next iPhone will have everything needed and will plateau, saying after that there will be nothing more that can be added.

    Only people who lack imagination think we've reached the limit.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    brakken wrote: »
    TMSC ROCKS!
    I hope they nail it!

    I hope they nail Sammy's coffin.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    idreyidrey Posts: 647member
    rp2011 wrote: »
    It would be as good a time as any if they were to ditch the numbering of iPhones and call that itteration the iPhone X

    Me likes your idea
  • Reply 19 of 26
    idreyidrey Posts: 647member
    cali wrote: »
    I hope they nail Sammy's coffin.

    Lol
  • Reply 20 of 26
    smalmsmalm Posts: 671member

    Sorry, wrong thread.

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