A10 chip


'A10 chip' Articles

How TSMC Won Back Exclusivity With Apple for the A10 Chip in iPhone 7

Last year, MacRumors covered the potential reasoning for Apple's rumored return to having a single partner for Apple A-series chip production with the A10 after having both Samsung and TSMC produce versions of the Apple A9. Since then, TSMC confirmed in conference call comments that its chip packaging changes have led to improvements of 20 percent in both speed and packaging thickness and 10 percent in thermal performance. This has a number of implications for future device performance and future foundry partner selection for Apple. First, it is helpful to understand why InFO-WLP (Integrated Fan-Out Wafer-Level Packing) is such an important development for Apple's mobile processors. Typically, chips as large as CPUs or mobile SoCs have been attached via "flip-chip" methods which attach an array of inputs and outputs to a package substrate via solder bumps, ultimately enabling it to be attached to a printed circuit board (PCB) for device integration. From the start, this is a compromise, as it would be preferable to attach a silicon die directly to the PCB to minimize height and reduce the lengths of interconnects between components. A number of technical limits in areas such as interconnect pitch, board produceability, and damage due to board warpage typically prevent this direct attachment. The above problem had previously been circumvented for smaller I/O count components with a similar concept called Fan-In Wafer-Level Packing, where smaller dies are allowed to route their inputs and outputs in an area roughly the same area as the die. TSMC is just one of

First Photo of Apple's A10 Chip for iPhone 7 Appears With Mid-July Production Date

Less than one month before Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Chinese repair shop GeekBar has shared the first photo of what appears to be the next-generation A10 chip destined for the smartphones on Weibo. The number of pins appears to be consistent with the A9 chip's 64-bit LPDDR4 interface. While the photo could easily be faked, the chipset is labeled with a 1628 date code, corresponding with mid-July production. Additionally, GeekBar has accurately leaked components for unreleased Apple products in the past, including the iPhone 6s display assembly and iPhone 6 schematics showing a 128GB storage option. What is pictured here is not the complete A10 chip and may be the RAM layer that is stacked on top of the A10 wafer as one system-on-a-chip, rather than the processor itself. Apple A-series chips are typically labeled on all four edges, suggesting this chipset is in a mid-production state. TSMC is expected to be the sole supplier of Apple's faster A10 chip based on its 16nm FinFET WLP process. The new processor should bring performance improvements to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The smartphones are expected to be announced on September 7 and released on September 16. Last year, TSMC-built A9 chips were found to outperform Samsung-built A9 chips in early iPhone 6s battery benchmarks, but subsequent tests showed less significant impacts that Apple later said amounted to only a 2-3% difference in "real world" battery life. Samsung is not expected to be an A10 chip

Alleged iPhone 7 Plus Geekbench Results Reveal 2.37 GHz Dual-Core A10 Chip, 3GB of RAM [Updated: Fake]

An image claiming to show Geekbench test results for an iPhone 7 Plus reveal a 2.37GHz dual-core ARM processor and 3GB of RAM for the device. The picture, originally posted to Chinese microblogging site Weibo and picked up by Dutch site Techtastic.nl, depicts single- and multi-core results for an iPhone model with the identifying hardware string "iPhone9,2". For comparison's sake, an iPhone 6s Plus has a 1.84GHz dual-core A9 chip, 2GB of memory and the hardware string "iPhone8,2". If the results are legitimate, a single-core score of 3548 and multi-core score of 6430 show that Apple's 16-nanometer A10 processor easily beats the performance of the A9 in the iPhone 6s Plus, which scores 2490 and 4341, respectively. On these results, the A10 also outperforms the 2.2GHz A9X chip powering the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which returns Geekbench scores of 3224 and 5466, respectively. Last week, a DigiTimes report claimed the iPhone 7 Plus will carry 3GB of RAM, supporting two previous claims by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying the same thing. The DigiTimes report stopped short of specifying whether the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 model would also get 3GB of RAM, but it's worth noting that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus both had 2GB of RAM, although Apple could restrict the 3GB to the larger device this time around to differentiate them more. The image is just the latest in an increasing number of leaks coming out of Chinese websites in recent weeks, suggesting users with links to Apple's supply chain. On Monday, a user of microblogging site Weibo posted images allegedly

Rumored A10 Production Win for TSMC Could Be Tied to Device Packaging Advances

According to a recent report from Taiwan's Commercial Times, via EE Times and a separate research report from KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo, Taiwan-based TSMC may have won sole production rights on the A10 chip slated for the next-generation iPhone 7. This is in contrast to the split production of the A9 processor between Samsung and TSMC featured in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Apple's decision to revert back to TSMC as a single supplier, as was seen in A8 chip production, could be motivated by advanced device packaging techniques offered by TSMC that may not have equivalents in Samsung's packaging offerings. The Commercial Times report mentions TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging (InFO WLP) technology as one of the key inclusions in the production contract. InFO WLP is one of many competing 3D IC technologies that promise higher levels of component integration in a single package with better electrical characteristics. Among those improvements is the possibility for higher-width memory buses that support lower-power operation necessary for mobile devices, which for consumers means better performance and efficiency. 3D IC technologies are just beginning to emerge in the consumer space, with AMD's use of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) in its Fiji XT line of discrete graphics cards being one of the first implementations. According to a paper abstract from TSMC engineers, InFO WLP also allows for better thermal performance as well as superior performance for radio frequency (RF) components such as cellular modems. We reported last year about Apple

TSMC Said to Begin Exclusive Production of A10 Chip for iPhone 7 in March 2016

Less than a week after the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were announced, the overseas supply chain is reportedly already preparing for production and component certification ahead of the iPhone 7. Taiwan-based China Times reports (via G4Games) that Apple supplier TSMC has secured exclusive orders for the A10 chip based on a 16-nanometer manufacturing process. The report claims TSMC will begin mass production of the A10 chip in March 2016 ahead of the iPhone 7 launching in the fourth quarter. TSMC is also expected to start ordering more parts for the iPhone 7 in the second quarter of 2016. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are powered by Apple's new A9 chip, which is believed to be manufactured by both TSMC and Samsung, while the iPad Pro features a more powerful A9X processor. The report adds that TSMC will continue producing the A8 chip, which is found inside the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, sixth-generation iPod touch and the new Apple TV launching in late