Samsung and TSMC Begin Production of A9 Chips for 'iPhone 6s'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple manufacturing partners Samsung and TSMC have started volume production of A9 chips for the so-called "iPhone 6s," according to DigiTimes. The report claims Apple requested last-minute changes to the chip layout, requiring both chipmakers to rework wafers, but the modifications are not expected to impact the release schedule of the next-generation iPhone.

    Apple's iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and new iPod touch are powered by the A8 chip

    TSMC will reportedly begin mass production of A9 chips based on a 16nm process in the fourth quarter of 2015, and is also expected to manufacture fingerprint sensors and audio chips on a contract basis for future iPhones. Conflicting reports have surfaced over the past several months suggesting that Samsung, TSMC or a combination of the two would be responsible for A9 chip production.

    DigiTimes has a mixed track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming plans, but it does have close connections with the overseas supply chain, and A9 chip production in July is reasonable with less than two months until the next iPhone is expected to launch. Apple will reportedly order a record-breaking 85-90 million "iPhone 6s" units from suppliers by the end of 2015.

    The much-rumored "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" are expected to be announced in September and could feature the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes, an A9 processor with 2GB of RAM, Force Touch, a faster Qualcomm LTE chip, an improved 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and 7000 Series aluminum. The overall design of the smartphones will likely be nearly identical to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

    Article Link: Samsung and TSMC Begin Production of A9 Chips for 'iPhone 6s'
  2. Costino1 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 1, 2012
  3. AngerDanger, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015

    AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Nearly identical… except for increased thickness to fix the protruding camera, please?

    If this is too much, could it at least rest flat on a table with something like my ingenious redesign:

  4. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    This is top of the list for me. Oh and those ugly thick antenna bands.
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Now there's a savage understatement.
  6. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    I sincerely hope Apple does away with the dual core design. Yeah yeah it works fine under iOS, but still, games and other CPU intensive apps can't leverage more power for more intensive things if there aren't more cores. Here's hoping for a quad core, but being fine with a tri-core.
  7. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    this is the beast of a phone many have been waiting for (naysayers be dammed - this is a huge improvement). sounds like a Samsung nail-in-coffin flagship killer, really. but if it's as amazing as i expect it to be i predict falling sales for iPhones 2016 releases.. anecdotal experience shows me that the majority do NOT update yearly, and since we're getting to a point where improvements are less and less drastic (aside from THIS specific RAM/camera/processor upgrade which was overdue imo), people will hold on to the 6S for ages. i know i will.
  8. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    What apps in particular are you talking about? More cores is not always a better thing. When multicore processors first came out, for a long time people were recommending sticking with dual-core for gaming because you wouldn't see a benefit with quad-core (due to lack of software optimisation).

    Plus Apple's innovations towards improving single-threaded performance means that when they finally do make the jump, the performance difference will be noticable. Adding more cores or just throwing better specs at a device is such a lazy way to compensate for poor software optimisation.
  9. Tom8 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
    This is a ludicrous thing to say. Developers are nowhere near maximising the potential of the current iPhone hardware
  10. Four oF NINE macrumors 68000

    Four oF NINE

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hell's Kitchen
    I'm ready for the iPhone 6S.. 128 GB storage, space grey this time
  11. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    but it gets so many tech-heads hard. even many people here who should know better.
  12. Geekazoid Suspended

    Sep 20, 2012
    Hopefully these iPhones won't bend quite as easy as their predecessors with the stronger 7000 series aluminium (if that is true). We don't need another #Bendgate incident. Hopefully Apple has learnt from this.
  13. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Next report: production delays may affect availability...

    Actually, I'm pumped for the 'S'.
  14. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Yesssss, been waiting too!
  15. teslo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2014
    haven't heard that word outside of android forums in some time. totally manufactured by the competition and frothy-mouthed bloggers with too much time on their hands.. and perhaps back-pocket noobs who should come to realize what a front pocket is all about.
  16. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Bendgate was swept under the rug pretty quickly when the Samsung S6 was found to bend even more easily than the iPhone 6.

    And other phones of theirs ... ;)

  17. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    I'd say we'll all be surprised.
    There will be plenty of stock this time, except for the Rose Gold that allegedly nobody wants to be caught dead with. (But gets bought in droves)
  18. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Why can't the "so-called" iPad Air 3 get this in the fall?
  20. Imory macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2013
    Hahaha, hilarious!
  21. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    this is a joke right?

    people would be posting how they messed up taking a photo because they mistook the camera placement.
  22. RamGuy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2011
    I don't want to sound rude, but do you have any clue what you are talking about? Have you develop, written or optimise any kind of application, code or game before or had any kind of experience with the matter and the dynamics of multi-threaded workloads and how you can efficiently leverage several processing cores?

    Because quite frankly it doesn't seem so from your post. Even triple-A games on desktop operating systems are able to utilise more than one to two threads efficiently. Some games expand their workload over four-threads, but what they do is split the workload they would normally use from a single-thread / core and just spread it across available cores dynamically. This will in most cases ensure more headroom for multi-tasking, but it won't use the additional cores in any efficient matter, not at all.

    So let's say Grand Theft Auto V requires a single-core from a Intel SandyBridge architecture at about 2,4GHz clock speeds to make things calculate efficient enough to ensure 60 FPS on the CPU side, adding multiple-cores will simply split the load over several cores. So instead of you having your one out of two / four cores being at 100%, you have either two at 50% or four at 25% during gameplay. This is of no real benefit to the game of user-experience other than leaving more freely available resources for other tasks but who really multi-tasks while gaming?

    The way multi-threaded workloads and gaming works as of today won't let you actually accelerate your games over multiple cores. So if GTA V did require 2,4GHz Sandy-Bridge architecture to handle the calculations required for 60 FPS on the processing parts of things, you can't simply have a 1,4GHz with two cores and think splitting the workload over twice the amount of cores resolves into having twice the power to run the game.

    This is the major reason why we don't see a huge increase of CPU cores on notebooks and desktop systems, because there is no real benefit of having them as consumer workloads is not scaling well over multiple threads. Only in scalable scenarios like servers and rendering workstations and whatnot you will have added benefit of having a lot of CPU cores at your disposal.

    And mobile applications are even less multi-thread efficient compared to desktop applications, want you want for your mobile phone is to have the highest possible IPC performance (instructions per cycle) which has nothing to do with the amount of cores you have, but is achieved through efficient architecture and clock speeds.
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    That's not how it works. Any layout changes would require a revisit of all of the design rule checks, a creation of new mask(s) and any existing wafers would be garbage. Perhaps the source means they reworked the wafer design (by changing the reticle that contains device die), which added some delay.

    Moreover, I still remain skeptical of TSMC and Samsung co-production on a leading edge process. Their library processes are inherently different and Apple would essentially be designing two chips simultaneously. I stress that this is something that has never been done before for a leading-edge CPU before. It is possible they could have developed some internal tools which port the designs easily and have some superset of design rules governing their process, but that would be an intensive endeavor, and they would be sacrificing optimization (more speed, less power use, smaller die, etc.) so they could fabricate the "same" design on two different manufacturer processes.
  24. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    You misinterpreted AngerDanger's post. You see, there are actually four cameras, which all merge together to create a coherent and beautiful image.

    Though the initial prototype was a little bulky (see below), it's sorted with this new design.

  25. blinkie macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2007
    Seems like the best place for predictions... We all want 2GB of RAM. But I don't think that's gonna happen... And I think that will be the most contentious thing about these new phones.

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