TSMC starts production of 10nm 'A11' chips for Apple's 'iPhone 8'

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's mobile processor manufacturer, TSMC, has reportedly entered into production of 10-nanometer chips for this year's upcoming iPhones.




Efforts were initially hampered by problems "stacking components in the backend integrated fan-out packaging process," but those have already been solved, DigiTimes sources said on Thursday. The people didn't supply any other details, such as Apple's intended launch window.

The claim echoes other recent reports, however, suggesting that TSMC and other Apple suppliers are gearing up for the OLED-based "iPhone 8,", which could ship as soon as October, on or slightly after the launch of two LCD-based "iPhone 7s" models. TSMC in particular may enter mass production on June 10, delivering "A11" processors in bulk to Apple assembly partner Foxconn by the second half of July.

Foxconn and Apple's two other assemblers, Pegatron and Wistron, are thought be in the middle of hiring surges needed to meet iPhone demand.

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently claimed that full-scale "iPhone 8" production might start as late as October or November, which would result in "severe" shortages for potential buyers. This could be a result of manufacturing issues with Samsung's OLED panels, and/or trouble merging a Touch ID sensor into the phone's display.

The "iPhone 8" is expected to feature an edge-to-edge, 5.8-inch OLED screen, replacing a physical home button with a virtual one. It should also sport wireless charging, faster cable charging, and 3D facial recognition and/or iris scanning.

"7s" devices should sport 4.7- and 5.5-inch LCD screens, but still include some features of the "8," such as the charging upgrades and "A11" processors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,078member
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 666member
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    Do you think they will already be introducing their own GPU?  I thought that would be in the coming year or two as their cooperation with Imagination winds down?  If you're right, this could be rather exciting.  Or it could be that Apple's 1st gen is just on par with current offerings and next gens will be more amazing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    If there IS a pair of "7S" phones, I hope they present them as normal then wait until near the end and do a "one more thing..." type reveal for whatever this special iPhone X/8/Edition/Anniversary phone will be. I miss those.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,415member
    Just think how energy-efficient and battery-life-extending these could be,
    if we weren't also developing more complicated tasks for these devices.
    But then, hooray for that...
    (Or am I yet again misunderstanding or manufacturing implications?)
  • Reply 5 of 20
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,929member
    I wonder if the issues with 10nm at TSMC mean that the A10X is essentially cancelled, and perhaps the next iteration of the iPad Pro will just ship with an A11 running at a higher clock speed than in the iPhone...
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,975member
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    We really don't have a timeline of when these will first be released. All we know is when Apple said they're going to end their contract with Img Tech, so they could have new mobile GPUs out this year but still use Img Tech for other devices still selling for the next 2 years, or it could be something that won't come for 2 years. I'm leaning toward a release this year, but that's more desire than intuition.
    repressthisredgeminipa
  • Reply 7 of 20
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,078member
    Soli said:
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    We really don't have a timeline of when these will first be released. All we know is when Apple said they're going to end their contract with Img Tech, so they could have new mobile GPUs out this year but still use Img Tech for other devices still selling for the next 2 years, or it could be something that won't come for 2 years. I'm leaning toward a release this year, but that's more desire than intuition.

    That's exactly what will happen. There's no way Apple tells Img that they no longer need their GPUs in 15-24 months without having something in place. To gamble and "hope" your GPU will be ready in time is far too risky. I'd bet cold, hard cash that Apple has a working GPU ready for production. Once Apple knew their GPU was ready for production, THEN they told Img about no longer needing them in under 2 years.

    iPhone 8 has a new custom GPU and iPhone 7 and various iPads for sale over the next 2 years that use the A9/A10 are why Apple told Img 15-24 months.
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 20
    ph382ph382 Posts: 28member
    boredumb said:
    Just think how energy-efficient and battery-life-extending these could be,
    if we weren't also developing more complicated tasks for these devices.
    I think that there is plenty of pressure to do more graphics and inferencing, so only a minority of new capabilities will be used to boost endurance.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    I'm thinking the same way.   They will be able to approximately double the number of transistors in the chip.   That could in part be dedicated to new functionality.

    On another note, if this report is true, then I would expect that all other ramp up problems have been resolved.   The last thing Apple would want is a huge number of parts sitting on the shelf waiting for something that is having problems.    I see this message as a very positive indication that iPhone 8 will launch as normal.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member

    williamh said:
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    Do you think they will already be introducing their own GPU?  I thought that would be in the coming year or two as their cooperation with Imagination winds down?  If you're right, this could be rather exciting.  Or it could be that Apple's 1st gen is just on par with current offerings and next gens will be more amazing. 
    I would expect them to almost have to launch the new GPU this year.   This simply due to allowing for time to phase out previous generations of parts.   After all we will see existing models slide down the line up just like in the past.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    cyberzombiecyberzombie Posts: 238member
    I wonder if they held off on the next 12" iPad pro so they could skip the A10X gen for an A11X. Without any other changes, should improve charge times due to more efficient processor power consumption...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,818member
    wizard69 said:

    williamh said:
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    Do you think they will already be introducing their own GPU?  I thought that would be in the coming year or two as their cooperation with Imagination winds down?  If you're right, this could be rather exciting.  Or it could be that Apple's 1st gen is just on par with current offerings and next gens will be more amazing. 
    I would expect them to almost have to launch the new GPU this year.   This simply due to allowing for time to phase out previous generations of parts.   After all we will see existing models slide down the line up just like in the past.
    If I were in Apple's boots, I'd go with the Apple designed GPGPU first in the A11X and demonstrate how close to "mainstream" computing the iPad Pro is.
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    boredumb said:
    Just think how energy-efficient and battery-life-extending these could be,
    if we weren't also developing more complicated tasks for these devices.
    But then, hooray for that...
    (Or am I yet again misunderstanding or manufacturing implications?)
    I have a feeling that the next bunch of iPhones will have extra ordinary battery life, despite smaller batteries compared to similar sized phones from Android competitors. Not that they are bad in battery life, but they are not class leading (at least the non-plus models) in battery life. All of that is set to change this year. My gut feel is that Apple is cooking up some real optimization w.r.t. battery life with the quad core A11 - couple of efficient cores for low intensive tasks and couple of ultra-powerful cores for tasks which need real power. It all started off last year with A10 being quad core (though benchmarks identified it as dual core), but probably the necessary pieces did not fall in line last year and we could see that being accomplished this year.
    edited May 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    boredumb said:
    Just think how energy-efficient and battery-life-extending these could be,
    if we weren't also developing more complicated tasks for these devices.
    But then, hooray for that...
    (Or am I yet again misunderstanding or manufacturing implications?)
    I have a feeling that the next bunch of iPhones will have extra ordinary battery life, despite smaller batteries compared to similar sized phones from Android competitors. Not that they are bad in battery life, but they are not class leading (at least the non-plus models) in battery life. All of that is set to change this year. My gut feel is that Apple is cooking up some real optimization w.r.t. battery life with the quad core A11 - couple of efficient cores for low intensive tasks and couple of ultra-powerful cores for tasks which need real power. It all started off last year with A10 being quad core (though benchmarks identified it as dual core), but probably the necessary pieces did not fall in line last year and we could see that being accomplished this year.
    For the volume they occupy, they are easily class leading, that's something that's often completely obfuscated, if a phone is 30% bigger in volume, well unless they put a much denser screen in, it will last longer.
    Even if you don't take volume into account, they're pretty much near the top only beaten by monster big phones.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    smalmsmalm Posts: 656member
    "Apple expects that they will no longer be using Imagination’s IP for new products in 15 to 24 months"

    Apple will not stop using IMG's IP in 24 months.
    They will definitly not use it in the A13 (24 months limit) and may not use it in the A12 (15 months limit)

  • Reply 16 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member
    tmay said:
    wizard69 said:

    williamh said:
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    Do you think they will already be introducing their own GPU?  I thought that would be in the coming year or two as their cooperation with Imagination winds down?  If you're right, this could be rather exciting.  Or it could be that Apple's 1st gen is just on par with current offerings and next gens will be more amazing. 
    I would expect them to almost have to launch the new GPU this year.   This simply due to allowing for time to phase out previous generations of parts.   After all we will see existing models slide down the line up just like in the past.
    If I were in Apple's boots, I'd go with the Apple designed GPGPU first in the A11X and demonstrate how close to "mainstream" computing the iPad Pro is.
    That may very well be the goal.    They are already in the range of low end laptops, at times better than some of the cheap stuff on the market.   Apple may very well hit performance levels seen in AMD & Intel, APU style chips.   

    Frankly I want an ARM based laptop from Apple.   Something with an open boot system giving it the ability to run Mac OS or any other OS I choose.    
  • Reply 17 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,828member

    smalm said:
    "Apple expects that they will no longer be using Imagination’s IP for new products in 15 to 24 months"

    Apple will not stop using IMG's IP in 24 months.
    They will definitly not use it in the A13 (24 months limit) and may not use it in the A12 (15 months limit)

    Actually considering the time frame that Imagination leaked they need to go with the Apple designed GPU's now.    That means next year everything gets shifted down into the low end lines.   I don't think Imagination was kidding here, it sounded very much like they would be getting zero for Apple in two years.
    watto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 18 of 20
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,818member
    wizard69 said:
    tmay said:
    wizard69 said:

    williamh said:
    Can't wait to see what Apples new GPU in the A11 will be like. This could be as big as when Apple surprised the industry with the first 64bit processor (A7).
    Do you think they will already be introducing their own GPU?  I thought that would be in the coming year or two as their cooperation with Imagination winds down?  If you're right, this could be rather exciting.  Or it could be that Apple's 1st gen is just on par with current offerings and next gens will be more amazing. 
    I would expect them to almost have to launch the new GPU this year.   This simply due to allowing for time to phase out previous generations of parts.   After all we will see existing models slide down the line up just like in the past.
    If I were in Apple's boots, I'd go with the Apple designed GPGPU first in the A11X and demonstrate how close to "mainstream" computing the iPad Pro is.
    That may very well be the goal.    They are already in the range of low end laptops, at times better than some of the cheap stuff on the market.   Apple may very well hit performance levels seen in AMD & Intel, APU style chips.   

    Frankly I want an ARM based laptop from Apple.   Something with an open boot system giving it the ability to run Mac OS or any other OS I choose.    
    It's almost a certainty that Apple has MacOS on ARM in the lab, but I don't understand why Apple would want to create an x86 emulation to do that for the enduser. Would Apple be able to create a clone of MacOS for ARM without x86 specific code, and developers just recompile MacOS apps for ARM? Of course, you would give up Windows OS support, but for a lower priced range of notebook/desktop products, I don't think that would be an issue, and especially not for education.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 20
    So... if the A11 is for the "iPhone 8," what's going in the "7s"? We all know Apple won't use the A10 for the hot new lineup, and I'd be a little surprised if the iPhone (Pro?) wouldn't have some extra processing power compared to the general release models. Maybe Apple will drop in the A11X, which might be why there was talk about new heat dissipation tech Apple's been working on. It's not needed so much in an iPad, given the internal volume, but would definitely be needed in an iPhone. 
  • Reply 20 of 20
    So... if the A11 is for the "iPhone 8," what's going in the "7s"? We all know Apple won't use the A10 for the hot new lineup, and I'd be a little surprised if the iPhone (Pro?) wouldn't have some extra processing power compared to the general release models. Maybe Apple will drop in the A11X, which might be why there was talk about new heat dissipation tech Apple's been working on. It's not needed so much in an iPad, given the internal volume, but would definitely be needed in an iPhone. 

    I don't think iPhone 8/X/Pro will have A11X. There is NO real need for that. As it is, A11 itself would be way too powerful for current needs. It would be THE BEST mobile SoC when it launches, much like A9/A10 in the past 2 years. A11X will go to iPad Pro only, not for iphone. All of iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, Pro (my guess for the name) would be powered by A11.
    edited May 2017
Sign In or Register to comment.