7nm chip development costs ‘prohibitively high’ for all but Apple and TSMC

“Apple’s 2018 iPhones are liable to be the only smartphones with 7-nanometer processors, a report suggested on Tuesday,” Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider. “Two major chipmakers — Qualcomm and MediaTek — have postponed their own 7-nanometer launches until 2019, DigiTimes sources said. Another manufacturer, UMC, has shifted investment into ‘mature’ and specialty process nodes, while Globalfoundries has put its 7-nanometer FinFET technology on indefinite hold.”

“That leaves Apple’s exclusive chip manufacturer, TSMC, as the only company expected to churn out 7-nanometer mobile processors in the immediate future,” Fingas reports. “Samsung is believed to be working on a 7-nanometer process as a way of winning back orders from Apple. For years it was the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A-series processors, but in the past several years Apple has transitioned completely to TSMC.”

“Apple is all but confirmed to be readying three iPhones to announce at its Sept. 12 press event in Cupertino. These include 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED versions of the ‘iPhone XS,’ and a less expensive 6.1-inch LCD product,” Fingas reports. “All of them should have a 7-nanometer ‘A12’ processor[s]…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone and iPad wannabes are falling even further behind!

With each passing year, and especially with iPhone X, it becomes increasingly clear – even to the Android settlers – that the competition has no chance of even remotely keeping up against Apple’s unmatched vertically integrated one-two punch of custom software and custom hardware. The Android to iPhone upgrade train just turned onto a long straightaway, engines stoked, primed to barrel away! — MacDailyNews, September 13, 2017

iPhone 8’s Apple A11 Bionic chip so destroys Android phones that Geekbench creator can’t even believe it – September 30, 2017


      1. On MacOS Safari, the MDN site can consume 500MB of my available memory in a fairly short time. If I don’t shut down and reopen Safari every 45-60 minutes, it can crash my MacBook Pro (early 2011). Never experienced this with any other website.

      1. Even if it were true, you say it as if its a bad thing. Are you an age bigot?

        If you think internet access and functions such as email are “computing” then so is driving. Definitely a millenial.

        Mobile still involves to many compromises. It needs 7 nm to stay relevant with PC at 14 mm. PCs have room, at the expense of mobility.

        1. Being an old white man isn’t a bad thing. On balance your age is likely to cause you to have outdated notions of what constitutes a PC. It was just an observation. There are lots of smart people over 50 that understand how the paradigm is shifting. You’re just not one of them.

  1. There is no other smartphone manufacturer who can be certain to sell around a hundred million phones of a particular model. Therefore spending a fortune to develop custom silicon is very cost effective for Apple as that cost is spread over a huge number of devices. Furthermore, by designing its own cutting edge silicon, Apple enjoys a performance advantage which cannot be matched by the off the shelf chips used by other manufacturers.

    Samsung May be working on matching TSMC’s 7 nm manufacturing process, but TSMC isn’t standing still. Why would Apple go back to buying chips from a company like Samsung who have behaved so dishonourably towards Apple on multiple occasions? Samsung would need to offer an exceptionally favourable proposition to tempt Apple.

  2. I have waited 6 long months to upgrade 2 older Apple phones, buy two Apple watches and ear buds. Now, I am going to wait even longer. I do NOT want to buy a product whose label get tied to a political point of view or party. I do not patronize Alex Jones at all, but I am a conservative. I am concerned that I will invest thousands more dollars in Apple, only to have them come out in a few months time and expand their ban or start an ad campaign a la Nike with some lefty like Colin Kaepernick. I don’t want opening my Macbook at a coffee shop or reading on my Pad in public to be a political act. So, I am going to hold off for a while longer. At least the Asian phone manufacturers have the good sense to stay out of anything political. At least Windows – Android give people some ability to diversify their hardware brands. Then, there is always Linux…

    1. You think that Samsung stays out of South Korean politics? It runs much of ROK economic, social, and political life.

      You think the Chinese electronic companies stay out of politics? They are purely political, owned by or directed by the PRC authorities.

      You think any American company stays completely out of politics? Then why do they spend big bucks on lobbyists in Washington and other capitals?

      I submit that your problem is not that Apple is involved in politics, but that you don’t agree with the positions Apple has taken.

      1. Makes me feel a little queasy Apples and Facebook closeness to the Chinese communist government
        I’m afraid they’ll bring Chinese style social scores that won’t allow you to fly or buy stuff
        It’s happening now in China

    2. Sounds like you’re too dumb to use a computer and separate politics from computing. Please pack up your Mac and take it back to the Apple Store, tell them MDN readers said you’re too stupid to use a computer. Also call the DNC and RNC and tell them you’re too stupid to vote. Also give God a call and tell him you’re too stupid to be a human and that you want a refund.

  3. Hang on I read only yesterday in one of the tech press journals that a certain Chinese phone maker (Huawei I believe) was the first to anounce such a 7nm chip for its new anounced phones and interestingly made by Apple ‘exclusive’ chip maker TSMC to boot, though it won’t launch till October it seems, which does make the use of ‘first’ rather a strange appropriation of the term. I mean you can anounce a phone 6 months back to have said chip (or any tech indeed) but it is surely the first to actual market with it that counts. That said a very prominant phone maker with big plans will, unless they are lying, be in the game within a month or so of Apple launching the first 7nm process phone.

    1. It was well reported that Huawei announced the first commercial 7nm processor.

      Apple will release theirs first, but Huawei’s comes in the Mate 20 in October.

      Unfortunately Apple Insider only reads Apple news, so they don’t know what the rest of the world is doing. Sadly they are too stupid to be honest about honesty but that’s what you get when you have two asses and are biased.

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