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TSMC to Produce Fingerprint Sensors for Next Gen iPhone at 12-Inch Fab [DigiTimes]

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TSMC Buying More 20nm Manufacturing Equipment

DigiTimes is reporting through its anonymous industry sources that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin manufacturing fingerprint sensors for Apple’s next-generation iPhone at its 12-inch fab using a 65nm process in the second quarter of 2014. The Taiwanese chip maker is also expected to handle the backend wafer level-chip scale packaging (WL-CSP) process in house, to ensure the yield rates of the new fingerprint sensors.

TSMC has been fabricating the fingerprint sensors for iPhone 5s at its 8-inch fabs, while outsourcing the backend services to Xintec, China Wafer Level CSP and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE). But now, the publication claims that instead of subcontracting the packaging process to IC backend service firms, TSMC will also handle the backend WL-CSP process in house.

“Due to limited packaging capacity, TSMC may switch part of packaging orders for Qualcomm’s chips to STATS ChipPAC, the sources added.

Meanwhile, TSMC will also begin to produce application processors for Apple soon using a 20nm process, said the sources, noting that the production of APs will be ramped up significantly starting the third quarter.”

Last month, it was reported that Korean tech giant Samsung has inked a deal with Apple to manufacture up to 40% of their A-series 14 nm chips in 2015, while the rest will be covered by Apple’s new partner TSMC.

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