During an earnings conference today, a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) executive said that Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor has moved the mobile device industry to 64-bit, CNET is reporting. Last year, Apple officially signed a deal with TSMC to manufacture A-series chips for iOS devices, who reportedly began production of the A8 SoC for the ‘iPhone 6’ last month.
Mark Liu, co-CEO of TSMC, noted that in the past six months “we do see the conversion to 64-bit, after the Apple A7 processor announcement”. When Apple unveiled its 64-bit A7 SoC in September last year, Qualcomm was taken by a surprise, who eventually announced a slew of 64-bit processors in the following months. MediaTek, another major mobile processor supplier, has also chimed in with 64-bit announcements.
Because of that “we see increased demand on 28- and 20-nanometer, this year as well as next year,” Liu said, referring to the current 28-nanometer manufacturing process and the more advanced 20-nanometer process, which the company has been ramping up.
TSMC just started production in January of 20-nanometer system-on-a-chip products (which the company calls 20SoC). It is the “fastest ramp in TSMC history,” said C.C. Wei, co-CEO.
TSMC, who is the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world, is also said to be working on an even more advanced 16-nanometer process for future.