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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
65 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/
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 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!
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 months ago
DIFFERENT-SIZED-CHIP-GATE!!!
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 months ago
I totally knew that. 2 processors... 2 different companies... 2 nanometers more...

Half Life 2 confirmed.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 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.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 months ago

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

Probably not, you might want to see your doctor about that.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

iPhone 12 'Pro Max' Model to Sport Unique High-End Features

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
The upcoming "iPhone 12 Pro Max" is anticipated to have a number of unique high-end features not found on any other iPhone, such as its screen size, LiDAR scanner, faster 5G, and potentially a higher display refresh rate. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also expected to be the largest ever iPhone, with a 6.7-inch display. Previously, the largest iPhones have been 6.5-inches in the iPhone XS Max and ...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iOS 14.2 Suggests Apple Won't Include EarPods in the Box With iPhone 12

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Rumors have suggested that Apple's iPhone 12 models will not include power adapters or EarPods in the box, and a minor code tweak in iOS 14.2 seemingly confirms Apple's plan to sell the new devices without EarPods. In iOS 14 and earlier versions of iOS, there's a mention of reducing exposure to RF energy by using the "supplied headphones," which is the same wording that Apple has used for...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14.2 Beta 2 Adds New Emoji Characters like Ninja, Pinata, Bubble Tea, Polar Bear and More

Tuesday September 29, 2020 11:22 am PDT by
The second beta of iOS 14.2 introduces the new Emoji 13 characters that Apple previewed earlier this year as part of World Emoji Day. New emoji options include ninja, people hugging, black cat, bison, fly, polar bear, blueberries, fondue, bubble tea, and more, with a list below. Faces - Smiling Face with Tear, Disguised Face People - Ninja, Person in Tuxedo, Woman in Tuxedo, Person...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

Apple Releases Ninth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers

Tuesday September 29, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the Ninth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, a week after releasing the eighth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be...