According to the Economic Daily News, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) will start manufacturing Apple’s A9 chip earlier than planned next year, Digitimes claims.
TSMC originally planned to kicked off 16nm volume production in second-quarter 2015. TSMC faces strong competition from Samsung Electronics’ foundry business.
TSMC is said to be Apple’s main partner for production of the A8 SoC for the iPhone and iPad this year, but sources reveal that the partnership goes beyond one system on a chip. The Taiwanese company will remain in Apple’s supply chain, and will start manufacturing the A9 chip on 16nm process earlier than planned, the sources speaking with EDN revealed- a few weeks ahead of the official iPhone 6 launch date.
Earlier this month, the China Times reported that TSMC has already started trial production of 16 nm FinFET process chips in this quarter, well ahead of schedule. Industry sources also revealed to the broadsheet that TSMC’s trial production of the 16 nm FinFET Plus process chips will include the A9 processor.
While the mass production of the 16 nm FinFET process chips will kick off in the fourth quarter this year, production of 16 nm FinFET Plus chips — including the A9 — will not commence until the first quarter of 2015.