TSMC expected to net big revenue boost on Apple 'A10' chips for 'iPhone 7'

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple processor maker TSMC is reportedly forecast to grow revenues almost 20 percent sequentially in its third quarter, owing primarily to shipments of "A10" processors for Apple's "iPhone 7."




Those shipments should begin shortly, said Taiwan's Central News Agency, quoted by DigiTimes. To a lesser extent, revenues are expected to benefit from chips for Android phones, graphics processors, and virtual reality.

Past rumors have claimed that TSMC will receive most or all of Apple's A10 orders, at least temporarily diminishing Samsung's position in the supply chain. Until a few years ago Samsung was the exclusive producer of A-series processors at a factory in Austin, Texas.

Apple has gradually tried to reduce its dependence on Samsung -- which sells competing phones, tablets, and computers -- but has only had limited success, given that the company is one of the few manufacturers that can keep up with demand for products like iPhones.

It's in fact rumored that Samsung will be brought back into A-series production, handling a third of orders for next year's "A11" chips. That might tie in with reports that Apple is going deliberately low-key with the iPhone 7, instead working towards major upgrades for next year's model, including possibly an OLED display with integrated camera and Touch ID components. If the device is intended to be a "blockbuster" product, TSMC might not be enough to keep up with demand.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Bull. TSMC was sole supplier of the A8 and kept up with demand just fine - the LCD panels for the Plus were the issue. I'm not sure why this site is so determined to rag on TSMC and praise Samscum. 
    TurboPGT
  • Reply 2 of 14
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    Bull. TSMC was sole supplier of the A8 and kept up with demand just fine - the LCD panels for the Plus were the issue. I'm not sure why this site is so determined to rag on TSMC and praise Samscum. 
    Samsung supplied some percentage of chips. This isn't a slight to TSMC, nor an endorsement of Samsung - it's fact. There are advantages to having more than one supplier - price, capacity, redundancy, etc
    Solilolliver
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Looking forward to see what Apple brings with the A10.

    Perhaps this time we'll see it come with a GPU custom designed by Apple. Then they'll have 100% control over their processors.
    Soliai46lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 14
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,906member
    levi said:
    Bull. TSMC was sole supplier of the A8 and kept up with demand just fine - the LCD panels for the Plus were the issue. I'm not sure why this site is so determined to rag on TSMC and praise Samscum. 
    Samsung supplied some percentage of chips. This isn't a slight to TSMC, nor an endorsement of Samsung - it's fact. There are advantages to having more than one supplier - price, capacity, redundancy, etc
    Beyond that I've seen no evidence at all that Apple has tried to reduce reliance upon Samsung. Apple moving from vendor to be endow has been largely driven by performance demands. If the rumors about TSMC new stacking architecture are true and cost effective they only rational move for Apple is to move all production to TSMC for the A10. It is a gamble however, as you note having only a single supplier / production location has its own risks. These are risks companies generally try to avoid. Going back to Samsung for part of the A11 production is all about mitigating those risks. I really don't think people understand business here. Like you said lots of advantages to more than one supplier. Plus any amount of production kept in the USA is a very positive thing.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,906member
    Looking forward to see what Apple brings with the A10.

    Perhaps this time we'll see it come with a GPU custom designed by Apple. Then they'll have 100% control over their processors.

    Yep, even if a new iOS device isn't isn't the cards, I still look forward to threads diving into Apples hardware designs. Interestingly if they do go with stacked dies, it will make tear downs and photo micro graphs of the "chip" a bit more difficult. This tech could have very interesting application for things like Apples watch. However in iPhone type chips it could lead to even more performance without a nice size drop.

    im not sure we will ever see a fully Apple designed GPU.  It would've nice that is sure but I suspect they will license Imaginations IP and build from there.  Going to stacked dies though has interesting implications, the GPU for example could become a separate chip.   Or they could implement a large high speed RAM in the stack for the GPU or for the entire system.    The tech might even be there to integrate things like a GPS radio.  

    im very interested to see what Apple dies to advance CPU performance once again.   Will we see try core or further advancements in instructions per cycle?   Lots of things to wonder about and frankly we haven't seen leaks related to this in years.  
  • Reply 6 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,984member
    wizard69 said:
    levi said:
    Samsung supplied some percentage of chips. This isn't a slight to TSMC, nor an endorsement of Samsung - it's fact. There are advantages to having more than one supplier - price, capacity, redundancy, etc
    Beyond that I've seen no evidence at all that Apple has tried to reduce reliance upon Samsung. Apple moving from vendor to be endow has been largely driven by performance demands. If the rumors about TSMC new stacking architecture are true and cost effective they only rational move for Apple is to move all production to TSMC for the A10. It is a gamble however, as you note having only a single supplier / production location has its own risks. These are risks companies generally try to avoid. Going back to Samsung for part of the A11 production is all about mitigating those risks. I really don't think people understand business here. Like you said lots of advantages to more than one supplier. Plus any amount of production kept in the USA is a very positive thing.
    A recent case of the downside of single vendor;

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0555964809/kumamoto-earthquake-keeps-sony-sensor-factory-shuttered

    Fortunately for Apple, there was enough time to shift production to other sources to meet the iPhone 7 schedule. My guess is that Apple will now routinely have multi vendor imager production. 
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Bull. TSMC was sole supplier of the A8 and kept up with demand just fine - the LCD panels for the Plus were the issue. I'm not sure why this site is so determined to rag on TSMC and praise Samscum. 
    The site does attempt to praise Samsung often. When a rumor is found that Samsung won all or majority of something Apple, the site just reprints the rumor with no historical context similar rumors had been heard and disproven beforewith mention of TSMC. For TSMC, the site tends to mention Samsung. 
  • Reply 8 of 14
    hammerd2hammerd2 Posts: 50member
    Looking forward to see what Apple brings with the A10.

    Perhaps this time we'll see it come with a GPU custom designed by Apple. Then they'll have 100% control over their processors.
    Apple already use custom designed GPU cores, based on the PowerVR IP they license from Imagination Technologies. They took an architecture license some years ago so, like with their use of ARM CPU IP they take the basics and customise extensively to meet their own requirements.

    It is highly unlikely you will see a move from IMG GPU IP being used in iOS devices, if not ever, then certainly for many years to come as it is so intrinsically baked into iOS and Apple's mobile designs and tools.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,524member

    SOT:  Where does the Intel modem come into play?  For US iPhones only?  iPads?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • Reply 10 of 14
    hammerd2 said:
    Looking forward to see what Apple brings with the A10.

    Perhaps this time we'll see it come with a GPU custom designed by Apple. Then they'll have 100% control over their processors.
    Apple already use custom designed GPU cores, based on the PowerVR IP they license from Imagination Technologies. They took an architecture license some years ago so, like with their use of ARM CPU IP they take the basics and customise extensively to meet their own requirements.

    It is highly unlikely you will see a move from IMG GPU IP being used in iOS devices, if not ever, then certainly for many years to come as it is so intrinsically baked into iOS and Apple's mobile designs and tools.

    You have any proof of this? Just because they took a license doesn't mean they're using custom cores yet. They could have taken the license so they could start work on them.

    I think if Apple used a custom designed GPU cores that they'd mention it. They're happy to talk about the CPU side of things and how they're custom designed.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    hammerd2 said:
    Apple already use custom designed GPU cores, based on the PowerVR IP they license from Imagination Technologies. They took an architecture license some years ago so, like with their use of ARM CPU IP they take the basics and customise extensively to meet their own requirements.

    It is highly unlikely you will see a move from IMG GPU IP being used in iOS devices, if not ever, then certainly for many years to come as it is so intrinsically baked into iOS and Apple's mobile designs and tools.

    You have any proof of this? Just because they took a license doesn't mean they're using custom cores yet. They could have taken the license so they could start work on them.

    I think if Apple used a custom designed GPU cores that they'd mention it. They're happy to talk about the CPU side of things and how they're custom designed.
    Apple uses the standard PowerVR cores, the only 'custom' aspect is implementation. The A8X and A9X have used some custom layouts of the standard cores.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    hammerd2 said:
    Apple already use custom designed GPU cores, based on the PowerVR IP they license from Imagination Technologies. They took an architecture license some years ago so, like with their use of ARM CPU IP they take the basics and customise extensively to meet their own requirements.

    It is highly unlikely you will see a move from IMG GPU IP being used in iOS devices, if not ever, then certainly for many years to come as it is so intrinsically baked into iOS and Apple's mobile designs and tools.

    You have any proof of this? Just because they took a license doesn't mean they're using custom cores yet. They could have taken the license so they could start work on them.

    I think if Apple used a custom designed GPU cores that they'd mention it. They're happy to talk about the CPU side of things and how they're custom designed.
    There is some "customization" right now, who actually does it is the question.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    hammerd2hammerd2 Posts: 50member
    hammerd2 said:
    Apple already use custom designed GPU cores, based on the PowerVR IP they license from Imagination Technologies. They took an architecture license some years ago so, like with their use of ARM CPU IP they take the basics and customise extensively to meet their own requirements.

    It is highly unlikely you will see a move from IMG GPU IP being used in iOS devices, if not ever, then certainly for many years to come as it is so intrinsically baked into iOS and Apple's mobile designs and tools.

    You have any proof of this? Just because they took a license doesn't mean they're using custom cores yet. They could have taken the license so they could start work on them.

    I think if Apple used a custom designed GPU cores that they'd mention it. They're happy to talk about the CPU side of things and how they're custom designed.
    They have an architecture license from IMG and are happily beavering away knocking out GPUs to their own specification. The last one released isn't on the list of IMG cores available. Did it fall off the back of a lorry ? No, it was a customised design.

    You don't have to believe me, I've only been an IMG shareholder for 20 years and have very good contacts. You may choose to believe the wiki entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_mobile_application_processors#Apple_A9X - or you may not, it's up to you.

  • Reply 14 of 14
    smalmsmalm Posts: 657member
    levi said:
    Bull. TSMC was sole supplier of the A8 and kept up with demand just fine - the LCD panels for the Plus were the issue. I'm not sure why this site is so determined to rag on TSMC and praise Samscum. 
    Samsung supplied some percentage of chips. This isn't a slight to TSMC, nor an endorsement of Samsung - it's fact.
    It's fact Samsung produced A8?
    Yeah sure... in that fantastic 20 LPP process. Oh wait, that got canceled!
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