How TSMC Won Back Exclusivity With Apple for the A10 Chip in iPhone 7

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    I can sue you for being, well, I guess stupid. iPhone 7 will be a huge success even if it does "look the same".
  2. Gudi, Aug 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016

    Gudi macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    Core M isn't the benchmark, Intel chips are good enough for most of a decade now. And battery life improvements are eaten up with bigger high-density screens and thinner lighter devices. Or in case of the iPhone Apple adds a Taptic Engine, which steals space from the battery and battery life stays the same even with more efficient CPUs. So if you're able to live without 3D Touch there is little reason to upgrade.
  3. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    Thanks to the Macrumors team for a really good technical article !
  4. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    In terms of CPU performance the a9x is inferior to the core m series processors. However in gpu tasks the a9x has about same power as a Xbox 360. It's pretty much a tie. So it depends on what you want, better cpu or better gpu?

    In regards to TSMC 16nm and samsung 14nm, from the sources i read the TSMC is the better one. This is because the TSMC chips has lower leakages that leads to better power efficiency and thermals. In addition, the Samsung part had to use increased voltages to hit the desired clock speed which resulted even worse efficiency.
    [source: ]
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Interesting read. I'm quite amazed at how much technology is packaged in such minute things and small devices like iPhones. The amount of things it can do with such a small size is simply amazing.
  6. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Okay Apple, put this in a new Apple TV and get some real games in your App Store.

    Yes, I know that is not going to happen. We probably won't even see an A9x Apple TV this Fall.
  7. cdmoore74 macrumors 68020

    Jun 24, 2010
    Yes but my iPhone 6S was never slow. Actually that's the best feature. I now want a total redesign to go with the speed. I don't think it's much to ask for after 2 years.
    On a motorcycle there's not much difference going 150mph vs 200mph. Fast is fast. With this cpu update we will be lucky to a second or two improvement in most apps.
  8. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    You don't miss what you don't have. Who knows if the 6s is fast compared to the 7?

    The chip will also improve efficiency by a lot, with the larger batteries we could see 60-120 extra minutes of battery life. Could.
  9. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I keep hearing such claims, but I've yet to see a load of new amazing 3D games for these mobile devices, that are as good as titles on an XBox360

    We have painfully embarrassing titles like crossy road and such like.

    If it's genuinely as good as a 360, why are people not hooking them up to TV's and playing loads of high end games via their Apple phones/tablets ?
  10. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Great gif!

    Why should they? No need for posing or style updates when you're not dealing with end customers. The money for a professional redesign and all the implicit consequences (necessary brand transfer activities, update of presentation headers, website etc.) is better invested in R&D and improved products.
  11. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    You're probably right but that logo just makes me feel like im in 1982 or something.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2016 ---
    Making a game like on a traditional console can be expensive and take time, developers just dont care when they can make money of simpler games and charge a couple bucks as apposed to $40-$60.

    That whole thing a couple years ago about the death of consoles never came to fruition. Consoles are here to stay for real games. I love me some Rocket League on my xbox one. :D:p:cool:
  12. lchlch macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2015
    The hardware is definitely there.

    The issue I believe is two fold.

    1) the App Store model encourages a downward pressure in price. Making it hard for developer to recoup their investment. This problem is further exaggerated by the huge budget required for AAA games.

    2) failure of the App Store to allow controller only games. Some games just don't work that well with touch and gyro.

    I sincerely believe that Apple should either make AAA games themselves for the iPad or pay someone else to port their game to the iPad. For example I would love to run civilization vi on the iPad.
  13. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    That is like saying a C2D is adequate and no reason to upgrade. For the average consumer that might be true but software is starting to catch up to hardware very quickly. I can easily occupy 50% of the CPU for real time sound analysis. We also have deep learning on our phones now which can always benefit from processing power.
  14. Gudi macrumors 68030


    May 3, 2013
    Berlin, Berlin
    Coincidentally I haven't bought a new notebook since the "Penryn" C2D MBP.
  15. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    I can foresee that Samsung would consider buying TSMC for the business that it lost.
  16. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    Yes and like I mentioned for most people that will be enough.

    But there is a fair amount of the population that very easily can run their i7 upto 100%
  17. truthertech macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2016

    Good one. These type of articles really tie the trollers into knots because they struggle to be able to bash Apple over the news.
  18. HJM.NL macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2016
    It would be far worse for Apple if Samsung dicided not to make any parts for Apple. Because if you like it or not... iPhone is almost a rebatched Samsung.
  19. grkm3 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2013
    since in your own words say you believe it was on 14lpp can you back that up with a source that it was?
  20. iBluetooth macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2016
    You get a total redesign of the motorcycle every two years?
  21. astroboy888, Aug 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016

    astroboy888 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2013
    TSMC's 16nm and Samsung 14nm are consider the same generation process. Now almost 2 years into mass production we find that there is no advantage with 14nm and Samsung's transistors suffered from higher power, which means it drains battery faster while giving no appreciable difference in performance. Worse of all, in early 2015 Samsung's 14nm process yield is considerable lower, which means it is much more expensive to produce. These were well documented comparing two Apple A9 version of the chip in the infamous "chipgate" incident last year. These are all factors which prompted Apple to go exclusive with TSMC for A10 and A11.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2016 ---
    INFO-WLP is an exclusive TSMC technology it has an advantage over other WLP technology such as Samsung's upcoming FO-WLP in that, it makes the chip package even thinner. So your entire device can be built thinner.

    The upcoming iPhone 7 should be thinner than current generation iPhone6S, this made possible by INFO-WLP. The new iPhone will be the first electronic product in history using this new technology.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 11, 2016 ---
    Apple pays TSMC $3.6-3.8B USD per year. About ~15-18% of TSMC's total revenue. So to be exact $3.6-3.8B USD revenue or about roughly ~5% of total Samsung corporation revenue. It is a significant chunk.

    But Samsung makes some of it back by Apple buying Samsung memories, SSD, and LCD panels.
  22. catportal macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2016
    I've lurked this forum for years, read many, many idiotic comments. This comment led me to make an account because this amount of stupidity cannot go posted unchallenged. First, this is not the most significant SoC advancement in a decade, FinFET technology has a drastically greater impact. First of all, do you even know what a SoC is? The reason SoC's can exist today is because process technologies have reduced the area requirements for the CPU CORES, allowing other "SYSTEMS" that were previously separate chips, to be integrated on the same die. Apart from the cost savings, it greatly reduces latencies between interconnects AND power requirements.

    Next, performance increase vs Intel processors. Where to even begin, process technologies for silicon will propagate to EVERYONE, this would include AMD, Intel, Freescale (PowerPC), Samsung, etc. The likeliness of Apple switching from Intel ISA to ARM ISA is so slim, it is non existent. There is a reason why Intel performance is unmatched right now, and it is not because of process technology, rather architecture design. Now, before you spew BS about CISC and RISC, know that there is no such thing in today's modern processors. ARM ISA is "RISC" but it's microops and decoder stages work like any other CISC design. Intel's x86/AMD64/add any new ISA, has "CISC" instructions, but are implemented using RISC micro ops. The reason Apple won't switch from x86/64 to ARM for their Mac line is because ARM chips are still terrible for any applications that make use of highly intensive superscalar instructions, various virtualization methods, and multicore scalability. Even the strongest ARM cores would be terrible in comparison. Not to mention, millions in the B2B environment relying on software that are x86 only and will never be ported to ARM. Remember Windows RT? That's what happens when you try to put ARM in a traditional PC, closed app store, no compatibility, bad user experience and eventual shutdown.

    Next time you are on this website, please consider pressing the log out button before browsing. You don't know jack **** about computer architecture.
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Mobile designers are already well aware of RAM bandwidth limitations due to overall system power. They can't just throw power and wider interfaces at it like the desktop guys do (well, now they can).

    1) It depends. INfO supports POP style packages, meaning the DRAM would sit on top of the CPU and have its I/O wirebonded to the edge of the package, just like previous devices. However, INfO supports multiple dies, in which case multiple flip chip style die could be mated through the wafer level package. The image you quoted shows this possibility.

    2) Die with large fanout such as CPUs will always be soldered bumps, unless intended to be socketed in which case they'll have columns. The connection to the PCB has changed because there is no longer a substrate between the die and the PCB. That more direct connection is the point of INfO and why it has those performance advantages.
  24. smalm macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2014
    Civitas Tautensium, Agri Decumates
    These are only different names for what is technically more or less the same process node with Transistor Fin Pitch, Contacted Gate Pitch, and Interconnect Pitch having the same length on both nodes, 14FF LPP and 16FF+ and being significantly shorter on Intel's 14FF process.

    Samsung Semi's 2Q operating profits are down 22% (YoY) so I'm sure they are very happy to have substituted Apple orders with Qualcomm orders.

    Apple ist faster in cranking up the speed of their design than Intel is in reducing power of theirs.

    Mass production for LPP startet January this year. The A9 APL0898 is produced in LPE.
    Funny thing is while 16FF+ is slightly smaller than 14FF LPE the APL0898 is slightly smaller than the APL1022.

    ∆ speed = 33%
    ∆ air resistance = 78%
    Faster is not just faster. I have some doubts you ever went over 150mph on a motorcycle.

    I think for the next two product cycles all SoCs will be built by TSMC, and we will not see any APL0898 anymore. Also the S2 SiP will be produced by TSMC. That will add a few dollars to what will not be payed to Samsung but to TSMC instead...
  25. 0lf macrumors regular


    May 2, 2016
    Core M is one of my benchmark ... because I have a 2016 macbook. I know what it can do easily, what is OK but perfectible, and what I would not run on it. For example, lightroom is OK 99% of the time, but struggle when before/after view is in use (although it is not worse than with my surface pro 2 with i5 4200u).
    I think iPad can be a really great platform for pro level applications, but for this it need a bit more juice.

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