A11 chip


'A11 chip' Articles

2018 iPad Pro Models Could Have Very Fast Octa-Core A11X Bionic Chip

Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models released in 2018 will feature octa-core processors, based on Taiwanese supplier TSMC's improved 7nm manufacturing process, according to Chinese website MyDrivers. iPad Pro with slim bezels and no Home button rendered by Benjamin Geskin The report, citing sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the eight cores in the tentatively named A11X Bionic chip will include three high-performance "Monsoon" cores and five energy-efficient "Mistral" cores. Like the A11 Bionic chip in the latest iPhone models, which is built on a 10nm process, the A11X chip will reportedly feature TSMC's integrated fan-out wafer level packaging, or InFO WLP for short. The chip will also presumably include a next-generation M11 coprocessor and neural engine for artificial intelligence tasks, such as processing facial recognition given rumors about Face ID on 2018 iPad Pro models. The eight-core processor should unsurprisingly result in CPU performance improvements on next-generation iPad Pro models. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth look at the architecture of Apple's A11 Bionic chip. He also highlighted details about TSMC's improved 7nm process and advanced InFO packaging process for 2018. Apple's current 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have an A10X Fusion chip based on TSMC's 10nm fabrication process. In addition to gaining Face ID, next-generation iPad Pro models are expected to have an iPhone X form factor with slimmer bezels and no Home button. However, the tablets will reportedly continue to have LCD displays due to

Apple Started Developing A11 Bionic Chip When A8 Chip Was Released Three Years Ago

Shortly after Apple's iPhone X event this week, the company's silicon chief Johny Srouji and marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down for an interview about its new A11 Bionic chip with Mashable's editor-at-large Lance Ulanoff. One interesting tidbit mentioned was that Apple began exploring and developing the core technologies in the A11 chip at least three years ago, when the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched with A8 chips.Srouji told me that when Apple architects silicon, they start by looking three years out, which means the A11 Bionic was under development when Apple was shipping the iPhone 6 and its A8 chip. Back then we weren't even talking about AI and machine learning at a mobile level and, yet, Srouji said, "The neural engine embed, it’s a bet we made three years ahead."Apple's three-year roadmap can change if new features are planned, like the Super Retina HD Display in iPhone X."The process is flexible to changes," said Srouji, who’s been with Apple since the first iPhone. If a team comes in with a request that wasn't part of the original plan, "We need to make that happen. We don't say, 'No, let me get back to my road map and, five years later, I'll give you something." Apple senior executives Phil Schiller, left, and Johny Srouji In fact, Schiller praised Srouji's team for its ability to "move heaven and earth" when the roadmap suddenly changes."There have been some critical things in the past few years, where we've asked Johny's team to do something on a different schedule, on a different plan than they had in place for years, and they moved heaven and

A11 Chip's 6-Core Architecture Highlights Apple's Continuing Push Into Heterogeneous Computing

In the recent leak of information from Apple, a device tree shared by Steven Troughton-Smith and containing information specific to the iPhone X was used to glean CPU code names, presence of an OLED display, and information on many other things. Contained within that information were also specific details regarding the architecture behind Apple's new CPU cores, dubbed "Mistral" and "Monsoon." From this, we know that the A11 contains four Mistral cores and two Monsoon cores, and it's worth taking a technical look at what Apple might be up to with this new chip. Leaked A11 chip While the two Monsoon cores are clear follow-ons to the two large "Hurricane" cores in the A10, the Mistral cores double the small core count of two "Zephyr" cores in the A10. September 2016 event slide on the two Zephyr cores in the A10 Annotated die shots ultimately revealed that the small Zephyr cores appeared to be embedded within the larger Hurricane cores, taking advantage of their geographic location by sharing memory structure with the Hurricane cores. Chipworks/TechInsights annotated A10 die photo showing small Zephyr cores embedded within large Hurricane cores (right) The Mistral cores appear to be a departure from the above scheme, at the very least in that they have doubled in count. Specific references in the device tree are also made to memory hierarchy, suggesting that they contain independent L2 caches, meaning the Mistral cores could be more independent than their A10 ancestors. This independence is underscored by the fact that the Mistral cores share a common

Huawei Unveils AI Mobile Chipset Said to Rival A11 Processor in Upcoming iPhones

On Saturday, Chinese mobile maker Huawei unveiled its first artificial intelligence smartphone chipset, which it hopes will lure customers away from Apple's upcoming range of new iPhones and towards the Asian company's "most powerful handset yet", the Mate 10, which is set to debut next month (via Nikkei Asian Review). Huawei touted the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset's built-in "neural processing unit" at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, claiming that the technology is "20 times faster" than a traditional processor. Mate 10 handset render via Weibo "The Kirin 970 is faster, better and more secure than anything else available [in the market]. This is the latest technology and it is the first chip to have a neural processing unit inside, which is 20 times faster than a central processing unit," said Richard Yu, chief of Huawei's consumer business group. "It is a major breakthrough for Huawei. We will enable the first use of AI technology in mobile apps, and provide consumers with a never-before-seen AI experience right in the palm of their hands," he added.The world's third largest smartphone maker claimed that mobile devices powered by the Kirin 970 will be able to "truly know and understand their users", by supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction, and intelligent photography with ease. "Compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages," Yu said in an interview with Reuters. "Users are in for much faster (feature) performance, longer battery life and more compact design." According to Nikkei, the Kirin 970 integrates 5.5

iPhone 7s Plus Bare Logic Board Surfaces With A11 Chip and Intel Modem Markings

Benjamin Geskin‏ today shared a photo of what appears to be four bare logic boards that are likely for the so-called iPhone 7s Plus. Alleged logic board likely for iPhone 7s Plus via Benjamin Geskin We know the logic board is likely for the iPhone 7s Plus because the placement of the screw holes is consistent with the iPhone 7 Plus logic board, while the top narrow portion is wider than the iPhone 7 logic board. The so-called iPhone 8, meanwhile, is expected to have a stacked logic board design with a L-shaped two-cell battery pack, which effectively rules out this logic board being for the widely rumored OLED display model. The logic board isn't populated with components, but there are pads etched on it that suggest the iPhone 7s Plus will be powered by an Apple A11 chip, while at least one model appears to have an Intel modem. We know this because blurry images of the alleged A11 chip were shared by Chinese social media account GeekBar last week, and the rear design of the chip is consistent with the pad on the bare logic board. Alleged photos of Apple's A11 chip via GeekBar Apple's A11 chip reportedly uses a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by supplier TSMC, and it will undoubtedly be faster than the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. As for the modem being supplied by Intel or Qualcomm, the modem pad pattern is virtually identical to the one on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus logic board, and those smartphones are equipped with Intel's XMM7360 chip. While not pictured, Apple will likely continue to dual

Blurry Images Allegedly Depict A11 Processor Set to Power 'iPhone 8'

Images purporting to show the A11 series chip that will power the upcoming "iPhone 8" emerged online today, suggesting that Apple's processor is already making its way through iPhone assembly plants. All iPhone models coming in the fall are expected to use the A11 chip, including the iterative "S" cycle upgrades to Apple's existing 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones. The processor relies on a new 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process introduced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the sole supplier of the new chip. Images via Slashleaks TSMC was said to have reached the exclusive deal with Apple last year thanks to its advanced device packaging techniques, capable of higher-width memory buses and lower-power operation. As such, the A11 processor will be faster and likely more power efficient than the current A10 found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, translating to speedier overall performance and better battery life for the upcoming devices. Apple has a major redesign in store for the iPhone 8, which will feature a glass body and edge-to-edge OLED display that does away with the Home button, and a new facial recognition system that may well replace its Touch ID fingerprint authentication.

TSMC Begins Production of A11 Processor After Initial Manufacturing Issues Resolved

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has commenced production of Apple's A11 processor, according to a new report by DigiTimes. The chip is expected to power the company's redesigned OLED "iPhone 8", scheduled to launch in the fall. TSMC is the sole supplier of A11 chips, which could also make their way into the upgraded "S" cycle models of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and potentially upcoming iPad refreshes this year, too. TSMC originally aimed to start producing the chip in April with a view to completing 50 million units by July, but production was delayed because of issues in the 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process. However, those problems have now been solved, according to today's report. TSMC has begun 10nm chip production for Apple's next-generation iPhone 8 series, the sources said. Production was once affected by issues involving stacking components in the backend integrated fan-out packaging process, but they have already been solved, the sources said.Apart from faster A11 processors, all three rumored iPhone models may include glass bodies and wireless charging (though rumors disagree on this point). It is unclear if the two LCD models will feature the same edge-to-edge display rumored for the higher-end device and what other features will be included. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that production issues could result in a "severe" shortage of Apple's upcoming "tenth anniversary" OLED iPhone in the months following its rumored September launch, but other sources claim production is on schedule. TSMC was also the

TSMC to Begin Production of 'iPhone 8' and 'iPhone 7s' A11 Chip in April

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will begin volume production on Apple's A11 chip in April, with a production capacity of 50 million units of the chip aimed to be completed before July. The A11 chip is slated to power the new iPhone lineup launching later in 2017, including what is believed to be iterative "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" updates, along with the specced-out "iPhone 8." The A11 chips will be built on a 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process and are packed with a "wafer-level integrated fan-out" technology, according to a report by the Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes). For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, TSMC currently manufactures the A10 chip on a 16nm FinFET process. The jump to 10nm is tipped to yield chips that are more power efficient, and subsequently provide end user experiences that are snappier. Before the end of 2017, TSMC is expected to "maintain a capacity" for producing a total of 100 million of Apple's A11 chips. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin volume production of Apple's A11 chips in April and will prepare a capacity for production of 50 million units of the chip before July, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report. The A11 chips, which will power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2017, will be built on a 10 nm FinFET process and packed with a wafer-level integrated fan-out (InFO) packaging technology, said the report. Last summer it was confirmed that TSMC would become the sole supplier of the A11 chip, with the design of the chip

Share Prices Surge for iPhone Chip Maker TSMC Following Record Profits

Shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have climbed to their highest level on record, bucking a global slowdown in the smartphone market. Bloomberg reports that TSMC's profits are attracting investors as demand for Apple's new iPhones fuels orders for its A10 processor on the back of a broader rally in technology companies over this year. The world’s largest contract chipmaker has surged 32 percent, and the $156 billion company now accounts for 16 percent of Taiwan's entire equity market value, which is said to be the biggest proportion according to data stretching back 13 years. Analysts are said to be unanimous in their recommendation that investors keep hold of their TSMC shares, and with Samsung Electronics faltering after discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7, market watchers predict the stock has room to rise further. "Samsung's issues and the perceived benefit for Apple is surely creating some optimism," said Sandy Mehta, chief executive officer of Value Investment. "TSMC is the best in class. Valuations are not very high for TSMC, and rising estimates have led to investor optimism. The shares could still have upside."Analysts predict the company's net income will increase 30 percent this quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit reportedly climbed 28 percent in the previous three months to $3.1 billion from a year earlier. TSMC has reportedly secured exclusive orders for the A11 processor expected to power Apple's 2017 "iPhone 8". A TSMC spokesperson told Bloomberg the company will "soon" start mass production of chips

TSMC to Be Sole Supplier of A11 Chip for Apple's 'iPhone 8'

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly secured exclusive orders for the A11 processor expected to power Apple's 2017 "iPhone 8". According to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), the Taiwan-based foundry will be the sole supplier of Apple's next-generation A11 chip, which will be built on a 10nm FinFET process. TSMC co-CEO Mark Liu announced at the company's recent investors meeting that its first 10nm customer product has been produced with "satisfactory yield" and that three products had already been "taped out". Taping out refers to the initial design of the chip having been completed for creation of the masks that will be used to print the actual chips, although further tweaks are likely as test production is carried out. TSMC is said to have begun taping out the design for Apple's A11 processor in May. Xilinx, MediaTek, and HiSilicon are said to be the other customers that will use the company's 10nm process technology. TSMC is already the exclusive manufacturer of Apple's A10 chip which will power the iPhone 7 range expected to launch this September. TSMC is thought to have reached the deal with Apple thanks to its advanced device packaging techniques, capable of higher-width memory buses and lower-power operation, which for consumers means better performance and efficiency. TSMC's production for Apple's A11 chips is expected to start generating revenues for the company in the first quarter of 2017, with revenues to "ramp steeply" throughout the rest of the year, according to Liu. Apple is said to have a radical

TSMC Reportedly Completing Designs for 10-nm A11 Chip With Early 2017 Availability

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun to "tape out" the design for Apple's A11 processor built on a 10nm FinFET process, according to industry sources (via DigiTimes). Taping out refers to the initial design of the chip having been completed for creation of the masks that will be used to print the actual chips, although further tweaks are likely as test production is carried out. Following the final result of the design cycle for the A11, TSMC is expected to achieve certification on its 10nm manufacturing process in the fourth quarter of 2016, and deliver product samples to Apple for validation in the first quarter of 2017. TSMC is expected to obtain about two-thirds of its overall A11 chip orders directly from Cupertino. The same sources indicate that TSMC could begin small-volume production for Apple's A11 chips as early as the second quarter of 2017, which would generate revenue for the company in the following quarter. Apple currently operates a two-year upgrade cycle for its smartphones. All things remaining the same, that would mean the A11 would be headed for the "iPhone 7s", the likely successor to the next-generation iPhone 7 which is slated to launch this fall. However, last month Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz speculated Apple will skip its traditional "S" upgrade cycle next year altogether. Citing industry sources, Moskowitz said the Cupertino company won't debut a spec-bumped, internally upgraded "iPhone 7s" in 2017, but a completely overhauled "iPhone 8" with "major design changes" and new, next-generation features like