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