“Despite a late start in TSMC’s 16 nm FinFET process, TSMC appears to have captured up to a third of chip production for Apple’s latest iPhones,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “TSMC is only the second ARM foundry to put FinFETs into production after Samsung. TSMC’s impressive accomplishment paves the way for it to replace Samsung. The combined resources of Apple and TSMC could bring about the next process node, 10 nm, as much as a year ahead of Intel.”
“Despite the bad blood between Apple and Samsung, Samsung has been making the A9 systems on chip (SOC) for the new iPhone 6s,” Hibben writes. “Apple had no choice but to turn to Samsung since it wanted to use Samsung’s 14 nm FinFET process, the most advanced available from an ARM foundry. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing was racing to get its own comparable 16 nm FinFET process into production, but only started the production ramp in July.”
“Based on teardowns by iFixit of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, it appears that TSMC is making the A9 SOC for the 6s Plus while Samsung is making the A9 SOC for the 6s. Sales of the 6s Plus could be about one-third of total 6s/6s Plus sales, so this is a huge win for TSMC and something of a minor miracle,” Hibben writes. “To ramp up production of a new process from a more or less standing start into volumes sufficient to support an iPhone launch is extremely impressive. It shows how badly TSMC wanted Apple’s business and it also shows how badly Apple wants to divorce itself from Samsung.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Better to dump thieving Samsung late than never!
Of course, we’ve heard that Apple was dumping Samsung multiple times before, so we’ll believe it when we see it.
TSMC to be Apple’s exclusive A10 chip fab – September 14, 2015
Samsung stole trade secrets from TSMC to win Apple A9 stamping deal – August 26, 2015
Apple makes ‘last-minute decision’ to use TSMC to stamp out 30% of next-gen ‘A9’ chips – April 15, 2015
TSMC sues former ex-employee over leaking trade secrets to Samsung – February 9, 2015
TSMC says to invest additional $16 billion in advanced chip factory – February 6, 2015
Bernstein: Samsung gets Apple’s next-gen iPhone chip business; TSMC gets iPad, ‘iPad Pro,’ and ‘iPhone 6c’ – November 21, 2014
TSMC overtakes Samsung in FinFET, confident they will land Apple A9 orders – October 7, 2014
Apple’s shift to TSMC for A8 chip fab hurts Samsung profits – August 5, 2014
Samsung/Globalfoundries, TSMC fight to land Apple A9 processor orders – July 1, 2014