Date: Friday, May 6th, 2016, 08:36
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor
It looks like Apple is starting the queue up design elements for its A11 processor.
Apple processor supplier TSMC is rumored to be designing an A11 chip that could be manufactured in small quantities as soon as the second quarter of 2017.
Sources have said the chip design is based on the 10-nanometer FinFET process TSMC is still working on. Certification for that process is only expected in the fourth quarter of 2016, and product samples would only be delivered to Apple in the following quarter.
The sources suggested that TSMC would likely control two-thirds of total “A11” orders, with the chips going into new iPhones shipping in the second half of 2017.
It’s also been said that TSMC wouldn’t be the only provider of the chip and that Samsung is thought to be working on its share as well. Samsung currently produces a portion of the A9 chips used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. For many years the Korean company was the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A-series processors.
Rumors have indicated that TSMC could be the sole producer of the “A10” chips for iPhones that are slated to ship later this year.
Current iPhones use 14- or 16-nanometer chip designs, depending on whether they’re built by Samsung or TSMC. Shrinking die size further would allow not just for more compact designs, but better power efficiency. 7-nanometer chips could be a possibility for a 2018 “iPhone 8,” although Apple might be forced to use 10-nanometer chips depending on supplier progress.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.