Apple partner TSMC to mass produce 10nm chips by early 2017, on pace to beat Intel

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
The race to make smaller and more efficient mobile processors continues, with iPhone chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. revealing it remains on track to mass produce its first 10-nanometer FinFET processors by early 2017 -- a timeframe that would put it ahead of rival Intel.




TSMC announced this week that its 10-nanometer technology remains on schedule, according to DigiTimes. The news comes a day after Intel revealed that its own 10-nanometer process has been delayed until the second half of 2017.

If TSMC remains on track, it will begin producing its own 10-nanometer chips in limited quantities in late 2016, ahead of mass production in early 2017. That means the chips would be unlikely to appear in a presumed late 2016 "iPhone 7" from Apple.

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, taking duties away from Samsung, who was previously the exclusive maker of Apple's A-series processors.

Apple is believed to have begun solidifying partners for its anticipated "A9" processor in late 2014, ahead of anticipated September 2015 launch of a new "iPhone 6s" series.

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.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    Last I saw there were differences between Intel die sizes and TSMC/Samsung sizes, are there not?
  • Reply 3 of 88
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,221member
    Last I saw there were differences between Intel die sizes and TSMC/Samsung sizes, are there not?

    Intel's process is more space efficient. Both Samsung and TSMC use two different process nodes on the same chip. The process for the transistors is the new node, but the wiring between the chips is a half, or a full node behind.
  • Reply 4 of 88
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,221member
    gatorguy wrote: »

    These dates are goals, just as Intel's are. We'll see if they meet them.
  • Reply 5 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,400member
    melgross wrote: »
    These dates are goals, just as Intel's are. We'll see if they meet them.
    "Apple will play a large role in determining the 10nm leader because of its massive wafer volumes, Jones said. The company orders 40,000 wafers per month, which would significantly help fill a fab but also require $8 billion in capital expenditures from a chip maker."
  • Reply 6 of 88
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    Honestly, anyone who thinks Apple has not started production at this point is a fool. They are NOT still 'ho-hum' deciding on who to use.. They made this desiccation back at end of may. Melrose Place of 'tech' this is not.. but Blogs and Media certainly want it to seem like it is..

    But you watch.. up to a few weeks prior.. Digi-Times and others will STILL be claiming Apple is deciding or looking at changing..

    Many are probably Samsung shills trying to pump stock price using un-informed and foolish investors...
  • Reply 7 of 88
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Adrayven View Post



    Honestly, anyone who thinks Apple has not started production at this point is a fool. They are NOT still 'ho-hum' deciding on who to use.. They made this desiccation back at end of may. Melrose Place of 'tech' this is not.. but Blogs and Media certainly want it to seem like it is..



    But you watch.. up to a few weeks prior.. Digi-Times and others will STILL be claiming Apple is deciding or looking at changing..



    Many are probably Samsung shills trying to pump stock price using un-informed and foolish investors...

    So, do you think TSMC will be making the A9 then?

  • Reply 8 of 88
    These kinds of things are not by chance, you know Steve and Tim sat down years ago and calculated their progress with Moore's Law, and probably wondered if they could beat it!
  • Reply 9 of 88
    netroxnetrox Posts: 681member
    Intel announced it will delay the 10nm process until the middle of 2017. That is NOT a good sign.

    Intel is delaying a lot of chips lately and I am suspecting that Apple is losing its patience and will probably release a Mac with its ARM chips which has shown to be extremely efficient and powerful.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    adrayven wrote: »
    Honestly, anyone who thinks Apple has not started production at this point is a fool. They are NOT still 'ho-hum' deciding on who to use.. They made this desiccation back at end of may. Melrose Place of 'tech' this is not.. but Blogs and Media certainly want it to seem like it is..

    But you watch.. up to a few weeks prior.. Digi-Times and others will STILL be claiming Apple is deciding or looking at changing..

    Many are probably Samsung shills trying to pump stock price using un-informed and foolish investors...

    It may not be cut and dried.
  • Reply 11 of 88
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     

    So, do you think TSMC will be making the A9 then?




    Yep, and he is not the only one. Not until there is a teardown by a reputable entity announcing the Samsung-manufactured A9 should anyone  believe that Samsung won. That company lies and will steal at every turn in an attempt to make itself look good. Thankfully, Apple has been able to raise the bar high enough and move forward fast enough to blunt the lies and thefts of that shameless company.

  • Reply 12 of 88
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,400member
    adrayven wrote: »
    Honestly, anyone who thinks Apple has not started production at this point is a fool. They are NOT still 'ho-hum' deciding on who to use.. They made this desiccation back at end of may. Melrose Place of 'tech' this is not.. but Blogs and Media certainly want it to seem like it is..

    But you watch.. up to a few weeks prior.. Digi-Times and others will STILL be claiming Apple is deciding or looking at changing..

    Many are probably Samsung shills trying to pump stock price using un-informed and foolish investors...
    Industry folks reported Samsung began setting up production for the next gen Apple chips back in December in its Austin plant. According to other reports Apple wanted them produced in the US, "Made in America" and all.
  • Reply 13 of 88
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Even at this point this is big news as Intel hasn't had someone this close on their tail for a long time.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    robertcrobertc Posts: 118member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Intel's process is more space efficient. Both Samsung and TSMC use two different process nodes on the same chip. The process for the transistors is the new node, but the wiring between the chips is a half, or a full node behind.

    It's a shame most of the media always excludes these types of details.  

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by netrox View Post



    Intel announced it will delay the 10nm process until the middle of 2017. That is NOT a good sign.



    Intel is delaying a lot of chips lately and I am suspecting that Apple is losing its patience and will probably release a Mac with its ARM chips which has shown to be extremely efficient and powerful.

    I doubt that.  Kaby Lake should have quite a bit of appeal with Apple.  

    Note the H line GT4 (2x128 MB). Looks like it was made for the MBP.

     

    The only large delay, prior to the move of Cannon Lake to 2017, was Broadwell.  Skylake is still on schedule. 

  • Reply 15 of 88
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,174member
    TSMC couldn't manage quality at 20nm and hosed Nvidia and AMD in the process. None of these `goals' are based in reality.
  • Reply 16 of 88
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,638member
    In chip technology, hype is part of life. Intel's bread and butter is designing,making and selling next generation chips from desktop/laptop to servers to internet of connectivity so Intel will make sure it stays ahead of game. IBM just announced breakthrough for 7nm width.

    Apple is making TSMC and Samsung to compete for it's business and in process make them invest billions to push the chip technology up. But, all this valid when their first chip comes out of foundry working at 10nm node. So, until than take with the grain of salt. This means iphone 7 processor A10 will not be on 10nm in 2016.
  • Reply 17 of 88
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post



    TSMC couldn't manage quality at 20nm and hosed Nvidia and AMD in the process. None of these `goals' are based in reality.



    Eh? TSMC is fabbing millions of 20nm chips for Apple every month. That's why nVidia and AMD don't have new GPU's; Apple bought out the available capacity.

  • Reply 18 of 88
    19831983 Posts: 1,126member

    So a 10nm A11 for 2017s iPhone 7S then...nice.

  • Reply 19 of 88
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,245member

    The jist of this is that mobile will be at/near desktop. 

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    In chip technology, hype is part of life. Intel's bread and butter is designing,making and selling next generation chips from desktop/laptop to servers to internet of connectivity so Intel will make sure it stays ahead of game. IBM just announced breakthrough for 7nm width.



    Apple is making TSMC and Samsung to compete for it's business and in process make them invest billions to push the chip technology up. But, all this valid when their first chip comes out of foundry working at 10nm node. So, until than take with the grain of salt. This means iphone 7 processor A10 will not be on 10nm in 2016.

    Just to clarify, Samsung/Global Foundries are partners with IBM on 7nm fab.

  • Reply 20 of 88
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,089member
    Last I saw there were differences between Intel die sizes and TSMC/Samsung sizes, are there not?

    (You mean feature size?) Intel 14nm Apple (ARM) 22nm.
    The already huge gap between ARM and Intel will widen even further.
    Intel will eventually lose the whole chip market because the near future will hold tablets only.
Sign In or Register to comment.