No 2017 ‘Chipgate’ in the making, as TSMC will likely build iPhone 8’s A11 SoCs by itself
While you may have been under the impression Apple develops A-series system-on-chips for iPhone and iPad use in-house, these important smartphone and tablet components are actually outsourced to companies like TSMC or Samsung, with Cupertino merely in charge of their designs.
From a certain perspective, it makes sense to commission different suppliers for the same part inside a single generation of an iDevice, but even after last year’s “Chipgate” was disputed by reputable organizations, iFans were left wishing all iPhone 7 units and beyond could be created equal.
As luck would have it, Apple reportedly decided to drop Samsung from its hardware-making partner roster this year as far as processors are concerned, with TSMC scoring every single A10 order.
The exclusive deal will likely extend to next year’s iPhone, dubbed 7s or 8 (probably iPhone 8), and so the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company shall begin “small-volume production for the A11 chips as early as the second quarter of 2017.”
At least that’s what “sources” say, with a 10nm FinFET architecture almost set in stone for Apple A11 SoCs, and MediaTek and HiSilicon, aka Huawei, also interested in joining forces with TSMC. Where does that leave Samsung? Still in a privileged industry position, as long as Apple also intends to finally move to OLED screen technology soon.