Rumored March 2017 iPad Update in Question Due to Poor Chip Yield Rates

Sources in Apple's supply chain are suggesting that "lower-than-expected" yield rates for the 10-nanometer manufacturing process could "disrupt the schedule" of next year's iPad launch, previously rumored to be coming in March 2017 (via DigiTimes). Specifically, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung are said to be facing the biggest issues with their 10nm processes, and TSMC's in turn has the potential to delay production for the A10X chips in the next-generation of iPads.

Apple typically sticks to the same manufacturing process for "X" labeled chips, and the current-generation A10 chip was crafted using the 16-nanometer process. The move to a more efficient 10nm chip in a new iPad line, while still unconfirmed, would go towards making the tablet more power efficient and able to fuel a speedier operating system experience for users.

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TSMC has reportedly obtained 10nm chip orders from Apple, HiSilicon and MediaTek, with volume production set to kick off in the first quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, yield rates for TSMC's 10nm process technology are not what the foundry expected, the sources said.

TSMC is scheduled to start making Apple's A10X chips for the next-generation iPad series slated for launch in March 2017. Unsatisfactory yields for the foundry's 10nm process could disrupt the schedule, the sources indicated.

Recent rumors suggest that the 2017 line of iPads will include three models: refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions, along with an all-new bezel-free 10.9-inch model. The new bezel-free model is said to be a thicker iPad at 7.5mm (the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro measures 6.1mm) and not include a Home Button. The specific size of the new iPad has varied in reports, including rumors that it will be 10.1 inches, 10.5 inches, and -- most recently -- 10.9 inches.

In the same report, DigiTimes mentioned that TSMC is also gearing up to produce A11 chips in the upcoming "iPhone 8." According to supply chain sources, volume production for those chips is expected to begin in Q2 2017, which aligns with Apple's annual September iPhone launch schedule.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad
Related Forum: iPad

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Top Rated Comments

NachoGrande Avatar
98 months ago
does anyone really need a "faster" iPad? It's an internet reading device...
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
98 months ago
Reading Apple news on here nowadays is like reading german newspapers lol never positive
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redheeler Avatar
98 months ago
Those of you who think switching Macs away from Intel processors will fix all the delays: No, it won't.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MH01 Avatar
98 months ago
Except Steve Jobs predicted that the iPad would replace the traditional computer.
That is incorrect , Jobs compared the transition from desktop/laptop PCs to tablets with the transition from trucks to cars. And made it very clear "PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.”

He made it very clear that PC, like trucks today are very necessary, those who need them will continue to purchase them , no car can do the duties of a truck. On MR this quote is very much misinterpreted , trucks (PCs) are not going away, just most people do not require a computer to read email, surf the web, communicate , social media etc etc.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrhick01 Avatar
98 months ago
10nm? Wow. That's about 100, 110 atoms wide?

Getting ever-closer to the limits of physics.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
98 months ago
At this point I really have to say this. Advancement of chips should no longer be the priority. Sure it still needs to happen to make things faster and thinner for Jony. Still, the thing holding back the iPads imho is the OS and software. Tim thinks that it is a laptop replacement already, and I think (as I have said) that for 70-80 percent of what most people do, maybe that's true. Still, when there are significant difference between the software (including those produced by Apple) between macOS and iOS, then there is still a significant gap to close.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)