The race to the 10nm die is down to the wire for mobile chip makers and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is one of the players cutting it close. Its product, expected to drive the next-generation iPads and iPhones, was originally scheduled to hit the market in the first quarter of next year.
Then came word of trouble on the tracks as it was said that yield rates haven’t been progressing the way TSMC would’ve wanted them to. Would the rumored springtime iPad launch get delayed with this development?
Apparently, this train is “totally on track,” said Elizabeth Sun, TSMC’s senior director of corporate communications, refuting a Digitimes report.
The Q1 online estimate is still the company’s target, though 10nm chips would only total less than 1 percent of the period’s revenue. Given that Apple’s spring hardware launches typically occur on the last week of the quarter in March, that’s no surprise.
What may surprise and even shock consumers may be that if the production line is delayed enough, Apple may continue to see a strained supply chain capping any potential sales. Android manufacturers aren’t off the hook, either, as Qualcomm has commissioned both Samsung and TSMC for carrying out its Snapdragon 835 design and the two manufacturers are both reporting slow yield growth.