TSMC Said to be Supplying the Lion’s Share of Apple’s A9 Chips

Apple’s new partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (or TSMC), is said to be taking the majority of Apple’s A9 orders for the next generation iPhones and iPads, the Commercial Times reported, citing foreign sources.

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The rest of the orders will go to Samsung, according to supply chain insiders.

You may recall that TSMC has completed the development of their 16nm FinFET plus process technology, and has plans to mass produce wafers next year. The announced progress has made it very likely that Apple will adopt it for the A9 chip.

Earlier rumours apparently corroborate such speculation, but more recently, October to be precise, a rumour surfaced that Samsung will quite probably be the winner of the A9 chip orders, and that the supplier will start manufacturing application processors for Apple using a 14nm process.

The Commercial Times report seems to contradict this, since the sources heard the exact opposite, i.e. TSMC has garnered the majority of A9 chip orders, due to announced progress with its 16nm process.

Apple’s A8 and A8X chip are manufactured on a 20nm process, with the teardown process revealing TSMC as the main supplier. The applications processors using the 14nm process are said to have 20% more processing power than that of their 20nm counterpart. The 16nm process enables an 11% gain in performance and 35% power reduction.

So finally; who is the winner of the A9 orders? Apparently TSMC, but we will certainly find out next year when Chipworks tears down the iPhone 6s.