Apple expected to keep TSMC as its sole chip fab at least through 2020

“Apple is likely to keep TSMC as its sole supplier of application processors for at least two years as other foundries fail to meet expectations, according to industry analysts,” Alan Patterson reports for EE Times. “Apple will be risking the regular launch of new iPhones and iPads by counting on TSMC for production of follow-up processors to the A11 without a backup supplier. TSMC, on the other hand, will depend on Apple to fill up nearly 80 percent of its leading-edge 7nm capacity, entering production this year.”

“‘As long as TSMC continues to offer something new at leading-edge every year and continues to execute well on yield, I could see Apple remaining sole source on foundry at TSMC for years to come,’ Arete Research analyst Brett Simpson said in an interview with EE Times,” Patterson reports. “TSMC has locked up Apple’s A10 and A11 processor business in part because of a competitive advantage the Taiwan foundry has gained in packaging technology. TSMC ramped its InFO (Integrated Fan Out) packaging for Apple’s A10 processor in 2016. InFO uses fan-out, wafer-level packaging rather than a flip-chip substrate to provide a 20% reduction in package thickness, a 20% speed gain and 10% better thermal performance.”

Patterson reports, “Apple’s Jeff Williams said he isn’t worried about insufficient processing power in the future. ‘We at Apple are not concerned about the talk of slowing in the semiconductor industry,’ he said at the TSMC event last year. ‘That’s not the case at all. We think the potential is huge. We believe strongly in the cloud side, but the future will be a lot of on-device processing. We believe this is the best way to deliver great features without sacrificing responsiveness, privacy and security.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Better, by far, to use TSMC than the devious, thieving Samsung!


  1. Keep SamSplode’s thieving assholic hands out of the Apple Cookie Jar! Go back to the washing machine manufacturing hell you came from you South Koren criminal copying miscreants!

  2. After all of the griping on this forum and by MDN, credit is due to Apple. Not only is Samsung not profiting from the production of the newest generations of A-series SoCs, but this also reduces the opportunities for Samsung to steal Apple’s processor designs.

    It is not easy to avoid Samsung as a component supplier. Apple has been working diligently with other display suppliers for years, but Samsung currently has the lead on OLED displays. But Apple has not given up.

    I hear griping and Apple-bashing all of the time on this forum. How about a little praise for once?

  3. By cavorting with TSMC, Apple is inadvertently sharing much of its crown jewels with it. Being creative and ambitious like Samsung, TSMC should tire of carrying Apple’s water after its eyes are opened to the possibilities. This is only natural. When will TSMC produce its own iPhone without Apple’s permission just like Samsung and other knockoffs already have?

    1. Unless they buy or create their own fabs that is always the risk its just a matter of reducing it as far as possible by making the company you use relies on you more than the alternatives do which is why TSMC are a better bet at this stage at least than Samsung. Best to always keep your options open for change in the future but in the forseeable future I can’t see it being in TSMC’s interested to start directly competing with its clients (assuming it has the nous to eventually do so). It was always in the interest of the dishwasher conglomerate to do so of course, a different beast entirely.

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