A9 Chip Manufacturing Split 60/40 Between TSMC and Samsung, Not Segmented by Device Size

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Teardowns of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have revealed two different A9 chips inside the devices, one created by TSMC and one developed by Samsung, which is slightly smaller in size, having been manufactured on a 14-nanometer process instead of a 16-nanometer process.

    There was early some speculation that the chips were divided by model, with the iPhone 6s getting the smaller Samsung chip and the iPhone 6s Plus receiving the larger TSMC chip, but new data collected by an iOS developer suggests that is not the case.


    Hiraku Wang has created an app that's able to determine whether an iPhone has a TSMC chip or a Samsung chip, and has shared some data on results gathered from users who have installed his app.

    According to results from approximately 2,500 iPhones, there are more TSMC chips than Samsung chips. TSMC chips were found to be installed on 58.96 percent of devices, compared to 41.04 percent for Samsung chips.

    The iPhone 6s Plus appears to have relatively equal split of Samsung and TSMC chips, with slightly more Samsung chips. Of 1,329 iPhone 6 Plus devices, 56.81 percent have the Samsung chip while 43.19 percent have the TSMC chip.


    With the iPhone 6s, the numbers skew heavily towards the TSMC chip. Of 1,086 devices, 78.27 percent have the TSMC chip while 21.73 percent have the Samsung chip.

    At this point in time, there is no evidence that the two chips perform differently, as more extensive testing must be done to determine any performance discrepancies. Though the chips are two different sizes, it's highly unlikely there are going to be performance differences large enough to be noticeable during daily usage.

    It is possible for users to check which chip version is installed in their iPhones using Wang's utility, but users should be cautious about installing an app via enterprise certificate from an untrusted developer. We do not recommend MacRumors readers install the app.

    Article Link: A9 Chip Manufacturing Split 60/40 Between TSMC and Samsung, Not Segmented by Device Size
  2. bgraham macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2015
    United Kingdom
    No matter how much Apple hates Samsung, they still heavily rely on them to manufacture their products.
  3. macduke Suspended


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I'd install this if I could download the source code, look it over and compile it in Xcode on my own device. Otherwise no thanks!
  4. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    Was hoping for Samsung. Not sure why other than I trust their brand more (have a Samsung external hard drive and TV).

    Got TSMC. Oh, well. Phone still runs like a champ :)
  5. jarred125, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    jarred125 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2011
    Ha .. Macrumors you guys are too funny. Quick correction over the original article :

    It is possible for users to check which chip version is installed in their iPhones using Wang's tool, but users should be cautious about installing an app via enterprise certificate from an untrusted developer. We do not recommend MacRumors readers install the app.
  6. gaximus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2011
    I've got TSMC, my battery life is much better then on my regular 6

    Attached Files:

  7. ghost187 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
  8. magicschoolbus macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2014
    if there are performance differences, there's going to be a lot of unhappy customers out there
  9. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    It seems to me that going from 14 x 14 vs 16 x 16 should result in it being 3/4 as big... seems like a pretty big size difference to me.

    And yet the total surface size was only reduced to 96 mm^2 from 104.5 mm^2... maybe 92%.

    Seems to suggest that there's a lot more to the size of these chips than just the size of the process or whatever it is that's being talked about when you say 14nm vs 16nm.
  10. Godzilla71, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    Godzilla71 macrumors 6502


    Aug 16, 2009
    WA state
    As long as my phone is running like it should then I couldn't care less which one I have.
  11. realeric, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    realeric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2009
    United States
    I prefer TSMC's. However, I would never install unidentified apps just to check the manufacturer. Once you install the app, your phone number, email address, contact information, credit card info, and passwords might be uploaded to the server. Welcome to open credit score community! PS) If I should, I would reset the iPhone before and after installation.
  12. zakarhino macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2014
    Bay Area, CA.
    Samsung chip.

    Battery life on 9.0.1 was rubbish. 9.1 Beta improved it a bit.
  13. cactus_in_uw_gat macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2015
    Yes, performance wise this has little impact on performance. But on battery life it does a lot, because a chip with a larger architecture generates more heat.
  14. ill1cit macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2014
    Somerset, Ky
    iPhone 6S Plus 64gb Space Gray
    I got the Samsung s8000
  15. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    How much COULD you care less?
  16. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    We do not recommend Macrumors readers install the app. Oh, and here's the link to the app....
  17. 7thson macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2012
    Six Rivers, CA
    Is it possible that Apple specified the chip to be manufactured within a size range and each foundry chose theirs according to their manufacturing process? Doesn't seem out of the question.
  18. scaramoosh macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2014
    It doesn't even matter, both chips are performing the same :\
  19. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
  20. Decimotox macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2013
    haha, right? I want to know, but not badly enough to ruin my device/personal info.
  21. Nevaborn macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2013
    Could not care less. My 6S Plus works great. Will charge my phone tonight for first time in 3 days.
  22. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    It's 14 nanometers vs. 16 nanometers and that referees to how far apart microscopic components of the chip are away from each other, not the dimensions of the chip.

    Edit: The nanometre (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; SI symbol: nm) or nanometer (American spelling) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre ( 0.000000001 m)
  23. Rocketman macrumors 603


    Never underestimate a fanboy's zeal to discover normally private data about their idol.

  24. jdillings macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2015
    I can't in good conscience use a iPhone 6s with a Samsung manufactured A9
  25. Daalseth macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    When I was in college in the early '80s one of the older professors was trying to put together a proposal for a computer for the lab. It was a Wang computer. A friend of mine who had been away for a year was chatting with someone and asked if anything had happened with the proposal. The guy he was talking to replied "No, there's been no interest in Prof. XXX's Wang in a long time."

    Then they both realized what he'd said and totally lost it.

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