TSMC


'TSMC' Articles

Taiwanese Apple Suppliers Face Falling Stock Prices Amid Ongoing Concern Over Weakened iPhone X Demand

Three major Apple suppliers faced falling stock prices on the Nikkei Asia300 Index today, believed to be directly related to "concerns over demand for iPhone X." The three Taiwanese suppliers were Largan Precision, Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn), and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, dropping 4.4 percent, 1 percent, and 3 percent on the index, respectively. iPhone X demand concerns and decline in supplier stock prices came after the latest analyst report by JP Morgan yesterday, predicting "slashed" iPhone X orders in the first part of 2018. In a research note reported by CNBC, analyst Narci Chang said "high-end smartphones are clearly hitting a plateau this year," singling out Apple by forecasting that iPhone X manufacturing "might be down 50 percent quarter-over-quarter." Reports of "weakened" iPhone X demand heading into 2018 began emerging late last year, mainly stemming from analyst belief that the high price of the device would eventually lead to reduced sales after early adopters got their iPhone X. These reports have caused several Apple suppliers to be anxious over low order visibility for the full range of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models in Q1 2018. CLSA analyst Nicolas Baratte argued that the reported reduction of the iPhone X's Q1 2018 shipment forecast from 50 million units down to 30 million units "remains inflated." Despite multiple stories about the iPhone X's plateaued demand in early 2018, the smartphone is believed to have sold well following its fall launch in 2017 and throughout the holiday season. Research data

TSMC is Reportedly Exclusive Supplier of A12 Processors in 2018 iPhones

Apple has reportedly selected Taiwanese manufacturing company TSMC to remain its exclusive supplier of so-called "A12" processors for a trio of new iPhone models expected to launch in the second half of 2018, according to DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the A12 chip will be manufactured based on an improved 7nm process, which should pave the way for the type of performance improvements we see in new iPhones each year. TSMC is already the exclusive supplier of A11 Bionic chips for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and it was also said to be the sole manufacturer of A10 Fusion chips for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. If the report is accurate, it would be a loss for Samsung, which has been attempting to win back orders from Apple for around two years. Both Samsung and TSMC supplied Apple with A9 chips for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, but Apple has relied upon TSMC as its sole supplier for newer devices. The Korea Herald last July reported that Samsung had secured a deal to supply some of the A12 chips for new iPhones in 2018, but two days later, DigiTimes reported that TSMC was still likely to obtain all of the next-generation A-series chip orders for Apple's upcoming 2018 series of iPhones. TSMC's in-house InFO wafer-level packaging is said to make its 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung's. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth technical look at this package process last

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's Jeff Williams Speaks About Artificial Intelligence and More at TSMC's 30th Anniversary Ceremony

Apple's operating chief Jeff Williams was in Taiwan today to attend the 30th anniversary ceremony of Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, more commonly abbreviated as TSMC. There, he spoke about artificial intelligence, the future of the semiconductor industry, and more. Williams first reflected on how Apple and TSMC began working together seven years ago. Today, TSMC is the exclusive supplier of the A10X Fusion and A11 Bionic processors in the latest iPhones and iPads.First off, thank you. It's a real honor to be here with this distinguished group, and we're here of course to celebrate TSMC's 30 years. And it's amazing as you've seen in the slides, how far technology has been driven over that time. TSMC got its start shortly after the introduction of the legendary Cray II supercomputer, and 25 years later we put this same processing power in people's pockets with an iPhone 4 in 2010. It really is remarkable, and it was actually 2010 that the first seeds of our partnership between Apple and TSMC were planted. I had flown to Taiwan and had dinner with Dr. Chang and Sophie at their house. It was a wonderful dinner. We were not doing business with TSMC at the time, but we had a great conversation. We talked about the possibilities of doing stuff together, and we knew the possibilities would be great if we could take leading edge technology and marry it with our ambitions. And what seems obvious now, wasn't then, because the risk was very substantial. The nature of the way Apple does business is we put all of our energy into our new products, and we

TSMC Founder Morris Chang to Retire in June 2018 as Apple's Chip Partner Plans World's First 3nm Fab

Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has announced today that its founder and chairman Morris Chang will be stepping down from all leadership positions effective June 2018, immediately following the annual shareholders meeting taking place that month (via DigiTimes and Reuters). Following Chang, TSMC will fall under the dual leadership of Mark Liu and C.C. Wei, with the former executive taking on the chairman of the board position and the latter becoming sole CEO of the company. Chang mentioned personal and family reasons for his retirement, and assured investors that the transfer of leadership would not change TSMC in any way, looking back on his time at the company, which he founded in 1987. Morris Chang via Wikimedia Commons Chang is now 86, and has earned a status as the father of Taiwan's chip industry. Chang added, "The past 30-odd years, during which I founded and devoted myself to TSMC, have been an extraordinarily exciting and happy phase of my life. Now, I want to reserve my remaining years for myself and my family. Mark and CC have been Co-CEO's of the company since 2013, and have performed outstandingly. After my retirement, with the continued supervision and support of an essentially unchanged board, and under the dual leadership of Mark and CC, I am confident that TSMC will continue to perform exceptionally." The plan of succession is said to have been in the works "for years," with Liu starting as a senior vice president for operations at TSMC and Wei as SVP for business development. Eventually, the two SVPs were promoted to

Apple's Chip Partner TSMC Shares Details on 7nm Node and Advanced InFO Package Process for 2018

At the Open Innovation Platform Ecosystem Forum in Santa Clara on Wednesday, chip foundry TSMC provided an update (via EE Times) on the progress of its forthcoming technology nodes, several of which would be candidates for upcoming Apple chips. Most notably, the company's first 7-nanometer process node has already had several tape-outs (finalized designs) and expects to reach volume capacity in 2018. TSMC's 10 nm node, which first showed up in Apple's A10X chip in the iPad Pro, followed by the A11, has been fraught with issues (paid link) such as low chip yield and performance short of initial expectations. TSMC looks to change its fortune with the new 7 nm node, which would be suitable for the successor to the A11 chip given current timelines. In addition to the 7 nm node, TSMC also shared information on the follow-up revision to this node, dubbed, N7+. Featuring the long-beleaguered Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV), the revision would promise 20 percent better density, around 10 percent higher speeds, or 15 percent lower power with other factors held constant. While EUV has faced delays for over a decade at this point, it seems to finally be coming to fruition, and a 2019 volume availability update would allow Apple to update its chip process in subsequent years yet again. Apple had previously updated process nodes with every iPhone since the transition to 3GS before being forced to use TSMC's 16 nm node in consecutive years with the A9 and A10. Moving forward, that annual cadence is again in jeopardy as chip foundries deal with the realities of physics and

Multiple Apple Suppliers Share Revenue Reports Ahead of 'Peak' iPhone and Apple Watch Season

A collection of Apple suppliers have shared revenue reports today, which also provide a glimpse into the upcoming "peak" iPhone and Apple Watch manufacturing season. Starting off, Foxconn looked back at its profits in July and reported consolidated revenues of NT$315.06 billion (US$10.62 billion) for the month, which marks an increase of 7.53 percent year-on-year. For the first seven months of 2017, Foxconn's combined revenues were NT$2.2 trillion, increasing by 1.64 percent year-on-year (via DigiTimes). Those watching Foxconn's revenue report are now expecting the October-December period to be the "peak of 2017" for the company, thanks to its status as one of Apple's biggest suppliers and the launch of the iPhone 8 sometime in September. Foxconn's revenue will increase "gradually" in August, according to market watchers, and will continue until the end of the year. Holiday spending traditionally helps increase Apple and its suppliers' revenue, even boosting Foxconn's December period in 2016 in the face of an overall year that saw its first-ever profit decline. Check out our recent hands-on with an iPhone 8 dummy model Some market watchers expect Foxconn's revenues to increase gradually beginning August and the growth will last until the end of 2017 with the fourth quarter being the peak of 2017 for Foxconn. Apple Watch supplier Quanta Computer announced revenues for the second quarter of 2017 at NT$235.37 billion (US$7.93 billion), growing 3.3 percent from the previous quarter and 13.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. Today's report stated that next-generation

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

Samsung Rumored to Return to iPhone Chip Production in 2018

Samsung Electronics will return to producing chips for Apple in next year's iPhone lineup, according to a new report today by The Korea Herald. Before, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company held the sole supplier responsibility of providing Apple's A10 chip in the iPhone 7, as well as the A11 chip in the upcoming iPhone 8, but now today's report references a "crucial deal" made between Samsung Electronics co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun and Apple during a visit to Cupertino last month. According to the report, Samsung managed to close the deal because of the company's decision to purchase equipment solely intended for 7-nanometer chip fabrication for iPhone devices. This move, as well as using Samsung's "close ties on OLED," convinced Apple to reintroduce the supplier into the iPhone chip supply chain. Although details remain vague, The Korea Herald's sources said that Samsung would "share some parts" of the 2018 iPhone orders that have been previously monopolized by TSMC. According to news reports on July 18, Samsung recently purchased extreme ultra violet lithography machines, the most advanced chip manufacturing equipment, to produce seven-nanometer mobile processors solely for iPhone. “The CEO could persuade Apple’s top brass taking advantage of their close ties on OLED,” said an industry source. Samsung, the world’s largest mobile OLED maker with a whopping 95 percent market share, is the sole OLED supplier for the upcoming iPhone. In 2015, Apple dual-sourced the A9 chip from both TSMC and Samsung for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, leading to some blowback from

TSMC Sources Claim 'iPhone 8' Will Have Touch ID Integrated into Display

Apple has successfully finalized a solution to integrate Touch ID fingerprint recognition directly into the display of its upcoming "iPhone 8", according to a new report on Friday. Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) said it spoke to sources from Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), who apparently confirmed Apple's achievement during a technology convention held in Taipei on Thursday. Among several design changes TSMC reportedly discussed at the TSMC 2017 NA Technology Symposium was the lack of a home button on the redesigned OLED iPhone, owing to Apple's use of "an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly on the screen" in the absence of a physical Home button. In addition to the fingerprint recognition, the sources claimed the new iPhones will also come with "invisible infrared image sensors to enhance the functionality of the high-pixel camera" and to enable augmented reality functions. If true, news of Apple's on-screen fingerprint recognition solution will come as a relief to watchers tracking the development of Apple's "tenth anniversary" edition iPhone. Reports that the company has been researching ways to integrate fingerprint sensors directly into screens go as far back as June 2015, but more recent sources have claimed Apple has struggled to find a solution that overcomes the production challenges involved. Specifically, Apple was said to be facing low yield issues of its in-house fingerprint sensor solution, which may have been forcing it to consider three possible alternatives: remove

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 Drops Out of Race to Acquire Toshiba Flash Unit, Foxconn Highest Bidder

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has withdrawn its offer for Toshiba's highly sought-after NAND flash memory business, leaving major Apple supplier Hon Hai in the driving seat to acquire the unit. Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, has offered up the highest bid so far, with almost 3 trillion Japanese yen ($30 billion) said to be on the table, according to Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun on Friday. Shares in Toshiba jumped 7 percent on the news. Toshiba is said to have narrowed down the number of bidders for its semiconductor business, which it is seeking to sell in order to raise at least $9 billion to cover U.S. nuclear unit charges that threaten the conglomerate's future. Out of the initial 10 interested parties one of which was reportedly Apple, the smaller group of bidders includes Western Digital, Korea's SK Hynix, U.S. investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, and a combined partnership bid from Silver Lake Management and U.S. chipmaker Broadcomm. Media reports made no mention of whether Apple made the cut, making the prospect seem unlikely. Japan's government could oppose a sale to Taiwan-based Foxconn because of the strategic value of Toshiba's technology to the national interest, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg. Toshiba reportedly wants to encourage Japanese companies to participate in the bidding process, since none are in the current group. The second round of the bidding war is expected to be held before the end of May, with the winner is expected to be announced in June before Toshiba's next shareholder

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

New Apple Product Expectations See AAPL and Supplier Shares Surge to Record Highs

Shares in Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) hit an all-time high on Tuesday, coming on the back of record spikes in Apple's share price over the last rontew trading days. TSMC share price rose to 195 New Taiwan Dollars, up NT$3.5 or 1.83 percent on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, breaking a previous record set in October 2016. Shares in other Apple parts suppliers in Asia also rallied on Tuesday, reported Nikkei Asian Review. Shares in optical lens manufacturer Largan Precision hit an all-time high and contract electronics maker Pegatron reached the highest level since last year. At one point, Foxconn reached NT$91.80, its highest level since 2016. The rallies came as Apple's own share price hit another all-time high on Monday, reaching $141.46 at the end of trading, following indications that the company could make new product announcements on Tuesday. Rumors suggest Apple is planning updated 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, a 128GB iPhone SE, a red color option for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and new Apple Watch bands. The gains have also been fed by speculation surrounding Apple's "iPhone 8", which is expected to launch in the fall, but could conceivably appear earlier. Several financial analysts have raised their price targets for Apple's stock to between $150 and $185, according to research notes obtained by MacRumors. TSMC is also thought to be considering moving some of its chip manufacturing into the United States, according to sources, with a decision said to be coming specifically in the "first half of 2018", with upwards of $16

TSMC Won't Make Official Decision About Building U.S. Plant Until 2018

Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company won't make a decision about moving some of its chip manufacturing into the United States until sometime in 2018, according to company spokesperson Michael Kramer (via Reuters). Although recent reports have focused on Foxconn's potential move stateside for Apple-specific iPhone manufacturing, TSMC chairman Morris Chang in January mentioned that the supplier was not ruling out the U.S. as a location for one of its foundries. Now TSMC is putting off an official decision until next year, with Kramer stating that the company would lose a lot of its "flexibility" if it moved production into the United States. Sources in Taiwan point towards a decision coming specifically in the "first half of 2018," with upwards of $16 billion potentially being invested in getting the American plant up and running. "We won't make a decision until next year," TSMC spokesperson Michael Kramer said. The company currently gets about 65 percent of its total revenue from the United States. "We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States. But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for instance (in Taiwan), we could send thousands of people here as support, whereas it's harder in the States," he told Reuters. No Apple supplier has made an official decision about building a plant in the U.S as of yet. Last year, Foxconn looked to be in the preliminary stages of building an assembly plant in the U.S., but this month chairman Terry Gou raised uncertainties about such plans. Both TSMC and Foxconn have teamed up

Foxconn and TSMC Team Up to Bid on Toshiba's NAND Flash Unit

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Foxconn, two companies who work with Apple, are teaming up to place a bid for a stake in Toshiba's memory chip unit according to Chinese site Liberty Times (via DigiTimes). The partnership could perhaps give TSMC and Foxconn the tools to gain a serious foothold in the flash memory market that's currently dominated by Samsung. Via the cooperation, the report claimed, TSMC will be able to challenge Korea-based Samsung Electronics' leadership in the flash memory market, allowing the pure-play foundry house to achieve a new wave of growth. The two companies' bidding team is currently in Japan aggressively preparing for document submission prior to the March 29 first-round bidding.Bidding is set to start on March 29, and Foxconn and TSMC are said to have representatives in Japan that are preparing to place a bid. According to Foxconn chairman Terry Guo, the company is interested in pushing into the flash memory industry as storage demands will increase as screen resolutions go up. Guo says Foxconn is highly interested in Toshiba's memory business and would be willing to use the same business strategy it adopted when partnering with Sharp -- keeping the business intact. Foxconn purchased Sharp in 2016 and has since begun using the business to build OLED displays, perhaps for future iPhones. Toshiba is planning to sell a portion of its flash memory unit to raise funds to cover a significant $6.3 billion loss, with the company planning to split off the memory unit from the main business on April 1, 2017. Toshiba originally

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 Breaks Earnings Records Thanks to Increasing Demand for iPhone 7

Thanks to a boost from supplying parts for the increasing demand of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has raised its forecast for 2016. Specifically, the manufacturer expects a revenue growth of between 11 and 12 percent, whereas it was previously holding out only for an increase of between 5 and 10 percent for the year (via Reuters). Third quarter net profit jumped 28 percent from previous quarters to $3.1 billion, which came in above analyst predictions of an approximately $2.9 billion forecast for the July-September quarter. It also set a new quarterly record for the company in the net profit category, which previously sat at $2.5 billion. Overall revenue for the quarter broke another record for the company, with revenue amounting to $8.1 billion in total, a 23 percent increase from the second quarter of 2016. In addition, the company recently said that revenue for the first nine months of 2016 jumped 7.1 percent to $21.6 billion, increasing 39 percent in September alone thanks to the launch of the iPhone 7. According to industry insiders and confirmed by teardowns of the handset, TSMC mainly supplies the iPhone 7 with its A10 chip. TSMC's good fortunes have also been inversely related to Samsung's ongoing Galaxy Note 7 debacle, but executives at the Taiwan-based manufacturing company noted that it's "too early to tell how business will play out." "Samsung is a very strong company," TSMC acting spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun, told reporters at a briefing after the company met analysts. "I think the issue today is that

Intel and Apple Already in Talks Over ARM-Based Chips for Future iOS Devices

Intel's new licensing deal allowing it to manufacture ARM-based chips for smartphones could win over Apple as a customer in as little as two years, placing pressure on current A-series chip manufacturer TSMC, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The report cited analysts that believe Intel could supply Apple with at least a portion of tentatively named A12 chips for iPhones in 2018, following reports that TSMC will be the sole supplier of A10 and A11 chips for iPhones in 2016 and 2017 respectively."TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then," Samuel Wang, a veteran semiconductor analyst at research company Gartner, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC."The switch to Intel may not have significant implications for iPhone users, but it provides Apple with an opportunity to secure the best manufacturing deal and technologies available. Intel's foundries will manufacture ARM-based smartphone chips based on a 10-nanometer process, which TSMC is also moving towards. The move could also shift at least a portion of A-series chip production to the United States, which could help create new jobs on the company's home turf."Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC,” a senior Taiwanese chip industry executive said. "There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it's really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington's policy to encourage U.S. companies to make

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