Bluefin: TSMC pushing forward on 20nm Apple A-series processors for next-gen iPhones, iPads

“Analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane of boutique research firm BlueFin Research Partners today chime in with an update on Apple‘s path from Samsung Electronics to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing as its preferred maker of chips,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

“According to the duo, Taiwan Semi is moving much quicker than thought to get ready to make chips with feature sizes of 20 nanometers, to meet Apple demand for its ‘A’ series custom microprocessors for the iPhone and iPad,” Ray reports. “‘Taiwan Semiconductor to restart full 20nm ramp this week; targeting 30K wpm by June and 65-70K wpm by the end of the year. TSM is finally back-on-plan to ramp its 20nm technology this week after a 5-6 week delay due to a CMP/metal gate process issue. AAPL was putting tremendous financial pressure on TSM to get the issue resolved. According to our 20nm forecast reads, TSM is planning to reach 30K wpm by the end of June and aggressively ramping to 65K-70K wpm by the end of this year. Our estimated production levels are significantly higher than what other sell-side analysts have been recently reporting recently,’ [wrote BlueFin].”

Ray reports, “Despite Samsung having had some trouble with 20-nanometer parts, the authors claim Samsung will still be used as a second source of parts by Apple, citing talks with “several semi material suppliers.””

Read more in the full article here.


          1. From the wafer size. A 300 mm diameter wafer, its area will be 3.142 × 150^2 = 3.142 × 22,500 = 70,695 square millimeters. The A7 is a big chip. So his number is roughly correct.

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