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A9 Chip Manufacturing Split 60/40 Between TSMC and Samsung, Not Segmented by Device Size

Teardowns of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have revealed two different A9 chips inside the devices, one created by TSMC and one developed by Samsung, which is slightly smaller in size, having been manufactured on a 14-nanometer process instead of a 16-nanometer process.

There was early some speculation that the chips were divided by model, with the iPhone 6s getting the smaller Samsung chip and the iPhone 6s Plus receiving the larger TSMC chip, but new data collected by an iOS developer suggests that is not the case.

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Hiraku Wang has created an app that's able to determine whether an iPhone has a TSMC chip or a Samsung chip, and has shared some data on results gathered from users who have installed his app.

According to results from approximately 2,500 iPhones, there are more TSMC chips than Samsung chips. TSMC chips were found to be installed on 58.96 percent of devices, compared to 41.04 percent for Samsung chips.

The iPhone 6s Plus appears to have relatively equal split of Samsung and TSMC chips, with slightly more Samsung chips. Of 1,329 iPhone 6 Plus devices, 56.81 percent have the Samsung chip while 43.19 percent have the TSMC chip.

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With the iPhone 6s, the numbers skew heavily towards the TSMC chip. Of 1,086 devices, 78.27 percent have the TSMC chip while 21.73 percent have the Samsung chip.

At this point in time, there is no evidence that the two chips perform differently, as more extensive testing must be done to determine any performance discrepancies. Though the chips are two different sizes, it's highly unlikely there are going to be performance differences large enough to be noticeable during daily usage.

It is possible for users to check which chip version is installed in their iPhones using Wang's utility, but users should be cautious about installing an app via enterprise certificate from an untrusted developer. We do not recommend MacRumors readers install the app.

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


Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago

As long as my phone is running like it should then I could care less which one I have.

How much COULD you care less?
Rating: 41 Votes
11 months ago
We do not recommend Macrumors readers install the app. Oh, and here's the link to the app....
Rating: 32 Votes
11 months ago
Ha .. Macrumors you guys are too funny. Quick correction over the original article :

It is possible for users to check which chip version is installed in their iPhones using Wang's tool ('http://demo.hiraku.tw/CPUIdentifier/'), but users should be cautious about installing an app via enterprise certificate from an untrusted developer. We do not recommend MacRumors readers install the app.
Rating: 19 Votes
11 months ago
I can't believe that with the X Code debacle that just happened people are installing apps outside of the App Store on their phones just to find out which chip they have. You people deserve to be hacked.
Rating: 18 Votes
11 months ago
As long as my phone is running like it should then I couldn't care less which one I have.
Rating: 13 Votes
11 months ago
I'd install this if I could download the source code, look it over and compile it in Xcode on my own device. Otherwise no thanks!
Rating: 9 Votes
11 months ago
From 2013:

"Samsung has signed a contract to produce 30% to 40% of Apple's 14-nm A9 chip family in 2015, with the remainder of the production load being handled by other Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), reports ('http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20131218PD207.html')Digitimes."

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/samsung-and-tsmc-to-share-production-of-apples-14-nm-a9-chips-in-2015.1685887/
Rating: 9 Votes
11 months ago

No matter how much Apple hates Samsung, they still heavily rely on them to manufacture their products.


Samsung is a big company. Apple hates the Samsung mobile division. Apple has very little opinion about Samsung refrigerators. Apple loves the Samsung semiconductor division. I am sure the Samsung semiconductor division is highly embarrased by the Samsung mobile division.

I can't in good conscience use a iPhone 6s with a Samsung manufactured A9


If Apple can build an iPhone 6s with a Samsung manufactured CPU, then why can you not buy it?
Rating: 8 Votes
11 months ago

I got 2531/4394 TSMC. So frickin pissed. Just ripped all my screen protectors off and packaged my phone back up. Its getting sent back first thing in the morning..


Jeez, dude.. words fail

How many people are going to install this rogue app to find out which processor vendor their phone has? And for what?..

The numbers will be meaningless to 99.9999% of the people that do this. The people that understand the numbers aren't going to be doing this.

Do you REALLY think Apple is going to install a substandard chip in their flagship product?..

Anyone?

Get a grip people!
Rating: 7 Votes
11 months ago

This is 100% the reason and you should swap phones until you get one with a Samsung chip. ;)

Yep, exactly. I'm on my sixth swap now. I open in the store, test it, and throw it at them when it's the wrong chip. I'm going to see if the Genius Bar can swap chips to save on the returns. Or that guy at the mall that says he's better than Apple at screen swaps...
Rating: 7 Votes

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