Apple & TSMC working on 10nm 'A11' chips for 2017 devices - report

in iPhone
Apple and chip manufacturer TSMC are working together on a 10-nanometer "A11" processor design, expected to go into production later in 2017, a report reiterated on Tuesday.

A 2017 iPhone mockup.
A 2017 iPhone mockup.

The chips will make use of TSMC's InFO (integrated fan-out) and WLP (wafer-level packaging) technology, sources told DigiTimes. The people didn't elaborate on any other specifications, or which particular Apple products might feature them.

In May, the same website said that an "A11" design was already being taped out for use in 2017 iPhones. At the time, small-scale production of the chip was expected to start as soon as the second quarter of 2017, with TSMC likely taking two-thirds of all orders, the rest presumably going to Samsung. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus use 14- and 16-nanometer chip designs from those two companies.

Apple's 2017 iPhones are rumored to be a major redesign, with edge-to-edge OLED or AMOLED displays that may even integrate Touch ID and camera components.

By comparison, next month's "iPhone 7" and "iPhone 7 Plus" are rumored to be modest interim updates, mostly equipped with faster "A10" processors, better cameras, and bumped-up storage. The "Plus" is expected to have a dual-lens camera, and may also have a Smart Connector on the back. Controversially, both phones are predicted to abandon 3.5-millimeter headphone jacks in favor of Lightning and Bluetooth audio.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    bigbig Posts: 36member
    Well, let's see where the chips fall.

    Snarf! Sorry, couldn't resist! Lol!

    Have a great day to the rest of the forum!
  • Reply 2 of 4
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,493member
    I want Apple to release A+ series processors with external GPUs that could finally outperform Intel CPUs so we can see some upgraded desktops and laptops. Desktops don't need the ultra low power versions, so crank them up and see what they can do. Apple is already converging iOS and macOS almost to the point where an A-series desktop could work. I'm not worried about touch screen (I don't want to clean fingerprints from my 27" screen all the time just to see what I'm working on) I just want an upgraded desktop. Allow my desktop to serve as a local iCloud backup instead of dealing with slow internet backups (my gig-ethernet network is still a lot faster than LTE or broadband networks unless you live in those few areas with fiber and pay a ton of money per month). I'd rather see better desktop computing platforms from Apple than a car.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Because of the chip sets onboard most Apple devices today, there could be full applications released to these devices like on their laptop/desktop cousins. Just think, an iPad Pro is way more powerful than a 5yr old laptop. I have a mid 2010 15" MacBook Pro and I can do most of the things on my 2016 12" iPad Pro that my laptop can do. If full versions of the applications were released to iOS then I would see greater versatility of my iPad Pro as well.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,506member
    This is critical juncture for 10nm chip fab to happen so never know until acceptable yield is achieved for mass production.
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