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iPhone 6s Uses Different-Sized A9 Chips From Samsung and TSMC

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, there were rumors suggesting both TSMC and Samsung were developing Apple's A9 chip for the device. There was some confusion over how the split would work, because the two companies used different technologies - TSMC was rumored to be using a 16-nanometer process while Samsung used a 14-nanometer process.

Chipworks has now confirmed via several iPhone 6s teardowns that the new devices do indeed contain application processors from both Samsung and TSMC. Comparatively, the die size of the Samsung processor is smaller than the die size of the TSMC processor.

a9chipsiphone6s
The APL0898 chip was developed by Samsung and measures in at 96 square millimeters, while the APL1022 chip manufactured by TSMC measures in at 104.5 square millimeters. Chipworks suggests Apple's decision to use processors from both companies points towards "major sourcing problems," but over the last few years, Apple has opted to diversify its supply chain to prevent manufacturing hurdles that can potentially lead to delays.

It is not yet clear how the size difference between the chips will affect the performance of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but Chipworks plans to benchmark each of the processors to figure out whether iPhones equipped with Samsung chips and those equipped with TSMC chips perform differently.

Related Roundup: iPhone 6s
Buyer's Guide: iPhone (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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12 months ago
Oh God... It's coming isn't it.

Exchanges for a different chip model. Complaints about battery life being different.

"My one gets 1 degree hotter than my brother's. Is this a major problem?"

EDIT:
Waiting for: http://stevejobswouldnever.com/
Rating: 57 Votes
12 months ago
Seriously? That many people read MacRumors or other tech sites and will be concerned about this? Jeezus people just enjoy your devices and stop looking for problems!
Rating: 35 Votes
12 months ago
DIFFERENT-SIZED-CHIP-GATE!!!
Rating: 32 Votes
12 months ago
I totally knew that. 2 processors... 2 different companies... 2 nanometers more...

Half Life 2 confirmed.
Rating: 31 Votes
12 months ago

Is this why i've been experiencing stuttering and freezing occasionally?


Probably not, you might want to see your doctor about that.
Rating: 25 Votes
12 months ago
If Apple can't fulfil the demand when a new device is released, people complain.

If Apple sources components from two different manufacturers to alleviate supply constraints, people complain.

I think the only way people will be satisfied is if Apple recruits Albus Dumbledore himself to make the phones by magic.
Rating: 25 Votes
12 months ago
Oh what the hell Apple...
Rating: 22 Votes
12 months ago

LOL. I'll be damned if my 7 is slower or has worst battery life than another 7. Lots of returns incoming


Where did you get an iPhone 7 from bro?
Rating: 19 Votes
12 months ago
Oh for crying out loud, this is going to drive the picky people crazy. I will state for the record I do not give a flying fig, pig or poo which of the two manufacturers made my chip. So far my IPhone runs great and it's my favorite iPhone since my beloved iPhone 4. Well done to whomever made the chip that's in it.
Rating: 19 Votes
12 months ago

Is this why i've been experiencing stuttering and freezing occasionally?


no

no

no
no no no no no
no


please stop the dumbness.
Rating: 18 Votes

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