Apple's A8 Chip Production for iPhone 6 Underway at TSMC

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's new chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun production on the next-generation A8 chip destined for the iPhone 6 later this year, according to a report [Google Translate] from Taiwan's Commercial Times picked up by AFP.
    The report claims that the new 20-nanometer A8 will include a quad-core 64-bit processor and quad-core graphics, and that an earlier start to chip production compared to the previous years could give Apple the flexibility to comfortably launch the new iPhone in the third quarter of this year.

    Samsung has been Apple's exclusive manufacturing partner for A-series chips, but Apple has long been reported to be trying to shift orders to TSMC. After years of rumors, Apple and TSMC reportedly struck a deal in mid-2013 to begin chip production in early 2014. TSMC and Samsung were initially reported to be splitting the production load for the A8, but Samsung is now said to have dropped out due to low yields.

    Article Link: Apple's A8 Chip Production for iPhone 6 Underway at TSMC
  2. macrumors 603


    Oct 13, 2008
    Everywhere And Nowhere
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2012
    Let's see how TSMC delivers! Should be interesting.
  4. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
  5. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
  6. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I doubt quad core. They made the A7 very wide in terms of execution paths to ostensibly avoid quad core.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    As tired as we get of rationed, incremental and somewhat predictable change I've still got to say bring it on.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2011
    TSMC could ask anyone on Reddit to create a better logo. Or a 2nd grader with photoshop
  9. macrumors 68000

    Mar 5, 2012
    Central California
  10. macrumors 65816

    Feb 15, 2011
    It makes sense to be there for the future. If mobile is to replace laptops with x86_64, 64-bit is a good place to start.
  11. macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
  12. macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    I am suspicious because usually it is TSMC that gets dropped due to low yields in the rumour mill...although who knows if they were dropped or if these reports are coming out strictly to manipulate stock prices
  13. macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
    And while that 2nd grader is at it, here's a little side project:

  14. macrumors 68000


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    Normally I'd be really excited to hear this. But then I realize that the only games I play on my iPhone are the ones that require you to wait 45 minutes to get more energy.
  15. macrumors 68030

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Yes, because a company logo effects how well they build a product. Some people have too much time on their hands worrying about such trival matters.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    Can't wait to see if the performance curve Apple highlighted at the September's iPhone 5s and 5c event continues to increase at an almost geometric pace. Or will we start to see a gradual plateauing of year over year improvements like we see with desktop chips.
  17. macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    I agree (and I'm a techie). The issue I have with the iPhone (I have the 4S) is that from a customer point of view, there's not a lot of apps that require a new/newly architected CPU every 12 months. Not to mention that iOS/iPhone is still missing a lot of basic functionality that has nothing to do with CPU speed. Granted there *may* be something coming in the next iPhone 6 that might require a better CPU/performance than what the 5S has now, but that's a lot of architecture for 1 item.

    Some of the basics that I was talking about that are missing after almost a decade of iPhone are:

    -better/more parental/security areas...such as allowing me to view my pictures but disable the Trash button...or include some kind of black list for dirty websites (since Apple already bans all sorts of stuff in the App store)...or offer the ability to force the email system to ask me for the password every ______ hours/days/weeks/power cycles/whatever.

    -better history/caching control of's really weak that it can't remember what website I was at 10 days ago

    -better/longer record of phone calls...I believe the max is 50 received calls and 50 dialed calls. Seriously? 16-64GB of storage and this is the best Apple can do?

    -better Airplay integration...such as DIRECTLY to the other Airplay device and NOT over a network/router

    -the ability to EASILY get my 1080 videos off the iPhone AND at 1080...ludicrous that I record at 1080 but when I push to Youtube it's 720 or worse...and that I must jump through all kinds of hoops to get the video off my iPhone and onto should be a simple feature in iTunes.

    -the ability to send longer/better quality videos by email....Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, and others provide a 25MB attachment size limit while Apple is still holding onto its 5MB-is-the-largest-we-can-possibly-send-because-it's-1993 motto.

    -the ability to store, locally, in some kind of folder my email attachments....PDFs, music, etc.

    -I love the All Inboxes but why isn't there an All Sent box so I can easily see all the emails I've sent from my various email accounts?

    -An editing feature of that if the iPhone accidentally mixes up the orientation of a photo (which it ALWAYS does when you take a photo looking straight down at the floor), you can just flip the orientation.

    There are a lot of other small things that would make the iPhone/iOS so more awesome...most of these items would be quite trivial to add.
  18. macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2012
    Six Rivers, CA
    The board is set, the pieces are in motion... Theres a lot riding on this deal with TSMC. I am not ringing the alarm, but John Gruber pointed out/linked to the idea that the CFO is in the best position to know a companies financial health and he just gave notice. It's really apparent now how investors are waiting with baited breath for Apples next move. Here's to hoping Apple is on solid ground.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    "Samsung is now said to have dropped out due to low yields"

    Do you really believe that Apple designed another chip for Samsung to manufacture? Ordered test wafers and then Samsung said: Nope. We cant do. To low yield.

    Why would Samsung care about yield? Customers pays per wafers not per working chip.

    I still just dont get how reporters believe you can take a chip design from one foundry and just start to manufacture on another foundry. Nope. You have to do a new design and tapeout. Its up to the customer to follow the specs of the foundry. Its the customer that is responsible for yield. TSMC/Samsung dont have magic wafer bakers that make some chip work and other dont work.

    Just look at Intel. They have almost 100% yield rate on their chips. Thats why there is no binning today. Before you got something extra when you payed more for a chip: a chip that was binned for that speed. Today all chips can reach top official speed.

    An educated guess is that Samsung will produce some A series chips. Maybe just A7 but I hope for A8 and A8X. It does not make any sense to design 2 different A8 just to have Samsung do a trial run.

    A8=TSMC + Low voltage A7/20nm
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2012
    Or it could lend to rumors of an earlier release.
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    if production is underway does this mean that the rumored June release is correct? or would they start production extra early for a September/October release?
  22. macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2008
    When did production start on the A7? How many months before the release of the iPhone 5s?
  23. Guest

    Dec 7, 2010
    I prefer better quality.

    Have doubts TSMC can pull it off. What happened with A7?
  24. macrumors 68030

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Maybe Apple is going to implement the cores so they adjust to the amount of power they use dependent on what they are doing. In some cases the unused cores would shut down and power consumption would be lowered. Or maybe Apple has figured out a way to have the quad core use the amount of power as the dual core A7. I suspect that you are correct though.


    What exactly are you asking in regard to the A7?
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    Core is an ambiguous term but the current G6430 in the A7 could be considered a quad core GPU. Unless Apple's planning on significantly increasing the clock speed, which is unlikely given it's power inefficient, you'd think they'd be moving to a hexacore solution like the G6630 or GX6650 in the A8.

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