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TSMC Rumored to Be Sole Supplier of A-Series iPhone Chips in 2018

Earlier this week, a report by The Korea Herald suggested that Samsung Electronics could be returning as a supplier for the so-called A12 chip in 2018's line of iPhones, after being removed from the A-series chip supply chain in 2016 and 2017, years in which Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company took on all of the orders. Now, industry observers reported upon by DigiTimes are predicting that TSMC is "still likely" to retain its title as the sole manufacturer of A-series chips in 2018.

In today's report, TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging technology -- which the supplier uses in its 7-nanometer FinFET chip fabrication -- is looked at as largely superior to any progress made by Samsung in the same field. Samsung is said to be "aggressively vying" for A-series orders from Apple ahead of 2018, but DigiTimes' sources state that even the company's close ties to OLED might not be enough for Apple to add Samsung as a secondary A-series supplier for the reported three iPhones launching in fall 2018.


It is unlikely Samsung will be able to regain application processors orders for Apple's iPhone, as TSMC's in-house developed InFO wafer-level packaging will make the Taiwan-based foundry's 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung's, said the observers.

Samsung has grabbed Apple's A9 chip orders for the new 9.7-inch iPads introduced earlier in 2017, the observers claimed. TSMC, which is already the sole supplier of Apple's 10nm A11 chips for the upcoming iPhones, will still likely obtain all of the next-generation A-series chip orders for Apple's 2018 series of iPhones with its 7nm FinFET process, the observers said.

TSMC's innovation in backend packaging plays a key role in securing exclusive orders for Apple's processors for the upcoming iPhones, the observers noted.
In Tuesday's report, it was rumored that Samsung Electronics co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun already made a deal with Apple concerning 2018 iPhone chip production during a visit to Cupertino last month. Otherwise, The Korea Herald's report was light on details, with no clear indication on exactly how many orders Samsung might have gained from such a deal besides believing the company would "share some parts" of A-series chip production with TSMC.

If Apple kept TSMC as the sole A-series manufacturer in 2018, it would mark the third year in a row that the supplier created iPhone chips alone, following the A10 in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the A11 in the upcoming "iPhone 8," "iPhone 7s," and "iPhone 7s Plus." Otherwise, a return to dual-sourced A-series chips in 2018 would be the first time Apple made that move since 2015, when both Samsung and TSMC supplied the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which frustrated some users when TSMC's technology was discovered to boast marginally better battery life.

Related Roundup: iPhone XS
Tags: Samsung, TSMC


Top Rated Comments

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28 months ago
TSMC needs a new logo.
Rating: 15 Votes
28 months ago
What's wrong with these rumors? hard to believe which is true

Yesterday's Report :-

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/07/18/samsung-iphone-chip-2018/

Anyway i will care less which chip my iPhone has as long as it's working fine.
Rating: 5 Votes
28 months ago

What's wrong with these rumors, hard to believe which is true

Yesterday's report :-

https://www.macrumors.com/2017/07/18/samsung-iphone-chip-2018/

Anyway i will care less which chip my iPhone has as long as it's working fine.


I am not sure how it would work, but I think it would be interesting and helpful if MR would start keeping track of the people and groups that make claims like this, and grade them on their accuracy after products get released.

With all the conflicting rumors in the past year, it would be nice to see who was right.
Rating: 5 Votes
28 months ago
Seems like "analysts" and online "journalists" will report any irrelevant and unconfirmed ******** in iPhone-season just to make a quick buck.
Rating: 3 Votes
28 months ago
So much for the "it's a Samsung phone" Macrumors guy.
Rating: 3 Votes
28 months ago
At least if they are all coming from one source we won't have the issue of one phone running a bit faster than another like in past phones .
Rating: 2 Votes
28 months ago



Anyway i will care less which chip my iPhone has as long as it's working fine.


I agree, be it my iPhone, iPad or iMac: as long as it's running good it's OK with me. I kinda lost interest in what CPU's are in my devices.
Rating: 2 Votes
28 months ago
If Apple simply leases more production equipment for TSMC to increase surge capacity of the superior 7nm technology with layering or stacking, that would substantially reduce the annual bottleneck. If Apple were to further settle on 7nm as "good enough" for the foreseeable 3-4 year future and focus on the chip design and features within that technology envelope, we could easily see a 2x to 3x improvement in performance from taller stacks, better software and hardware integration and further integration of purchased technologies and personnel. Far lower costs over time as equipment is amortised and production lines are not as heavily modified. Not lower prices. Higher margins.

The "next thing" is 5G LTE anyway. A radio chip not a CPU. If they can get Qualcomm to simply honor FRAND they already agreed to.
Rating: 1 Votes
28 months ago

What's wrong with these rumors, hard to believe which is true
.


When I see the tsmc logo I see a lot of holes.

So, maybe the rumors stand for A- .........
[doublepost=1500561635][/doublepost]

TSMC needs a new logo.


You beat me to it:-)
Rating: 1 Votes
28 months ago
The technology is mostly owned by Global Foundries with their IBM acquisitions; and they are jointly working with TSMC to deliver 7nm and below for AMD and beyond.
Rating: 1 Votes

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