TSMC is Reportedly Exclusive Supplier of A12 Processors in 2018 iPhones

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has reportedly selected Taiwanese manufacturing company TSMC to remain its exclusive supplier of so-called "A12" processors for a trio of new iPhone models expected to launch in the second half of 2018, according to DigiTimes.


    The report, citing unnamed sources within Apple's supply chain, claims the A12 chip will be manufactured based on an improved 7nm process, which should pave the way for the type of performance improvements we see in new iPhones each year.

    TSMC is already the exclusive supplier of A11 Bionic chips for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and it was also said to be the sole manufacturer of A10 Fusion chips for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

    If the report is accurate, it would be a loss for Samsung, which has been attempting to win back orders from Apple for around two years. Both Samsung and TSMC supplied Apple with A9 chips for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, but Apple has relied upon TSMC as its sole supplier for newer devices.

    The Korea Herald last July reported that Samsung had secured a deal to supply some of the A12 chips for new iPhones in 2018, but two days later, DigiTimes reported that TSMC was still likely to obtain all of the next-generation A-series chip orders for Apple's upcoming 2018 series of iPhones.

    TSMC's in-house InFO wafer-level packaging is said to make its 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung's. Our own Chris Jenkins provided an in-depth technical look at this package process last September.

    Article Link: TSMC is Reportedly Exclusive Supplier of A12 Processors in 2018 iPhones
  2. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    After recent revelations, Apple really need to start to re-think their strategy with regard to iPhones and their processors.

    The A12 will be screaming fast but now is a good a time as ever to start underclocking them. iPhones don't need to be so fast, they're already more than adequate for any task you can throw at it for the next few years.

    What they sorely need right now is to be reliable, with a long battery life, a long shelf life and not suffer artificial slowdown or power cut outs at 30% after a year. Underclocking can help with this.
  3. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Why is this news if it's been the same for so many generations?
  4. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    DigiTimes gets a prediction correct...! That's not something we can say very often... ;)
  5. heov macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2002
    Or they can use a higher quality and larger battery that won't lose its ability to push out a consistent voltage after 1 year. Sire battery tech is to blame, but it can be mitigated with better batteries. Look at the iPad.. no problems.
  6. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    That as well.

    They need to attack this problem from all sides if they want to regain lost trust.
  7. riverfreak macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2005
    Thonglor, Bangkok
    Now that this is settled, bring on the X+ parts leaks!
  8. bedsidetrash, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

    bedsidetrash macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2017
    Apple needs to put the corporate grievances aside and only do what's best for the customers -- use Samsung batteries made by robots instead of cheap Chinese knock offs made by human labor (prone to errors and hence shorter life span) Come on Apple you make so much money you don't need to shave costs by using shoddy Chinese batteries when a better alternative exists. OK feel free to insert exploding battery "jokes" here as much as you want. But they have fixed it. They apologized profusely. They pulled the product off the shelves. They did everything Apple failed to do in the latest battery gate.
  9. JSchlik macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2012
    Seriously, not trying to be a smart aleck here but, why bother if the batteries can’t handle it?? Faster is not always better. Spending $1200 and it lasting more than a year at full designed speed is.
  10. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
  11. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    Replace Chinese solution products as in batteries, glass. No ones gonna brave over A-series performance from now on after this revealation of excuse.
  12. laz232, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

    laz232 macrumors 6502

    Feb 4, 2016
    At a café near you
    Dumb remark - Samsung is a good supplier in a number of areas including the screens, where unfortunately LG supplied panels have had image retention problems on the retina Macs.

    Edit:All suppliers have hits and misses - no point to be in one camp versus the other. Oh, and some competition tends to be a good thing...
  13. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    You may consider it dumb, but Apple clearly doesn't. With Apple's financial backing, they will get LG to the level they need.
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Even as fast as iPhones have become and powerful, most consumers don't likely utilize have the power they incorporate anyways. Maybe because they use their phones for simple tasks or basic applications, but they don't take full of advantage of the power given to the iPhone. So every year when Apple says Its their fastest iPhone ever, I believe them, but its marketing that the average smart phone consumer does not care about.
  15. M.PaulCezanne macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2014
    Won’t help them sell more devices in later years so my bet is the board says no on this strategy.
  16. truthertech, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

    truthertech macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2016

    If only it were that simple. Yes, for surfing the web, reading email, etc., current chips are overkill, but that processing power is needed for certain limited tasks, such as computational photography, AR/VR, etc, and no, smart phones are not powerful enough to deal with future needs by any means. AR/VR and other technologies will require ever more powerful silicon.

    Fortunately, Apple has some of the best chips designers and engineers in the world, and Apple, and other manufacturers, instead use a multi-core approach, to handle the problem of dealing with processor intensive tasks and battery life. That's why you have the A10 Fusion multi-core chip which wowed the tech world.

    "The high-efficiency cores are optimized for low power, and consume just a fifth of the power of the faster cores. The iPhone 7 will switch to those cores, and power down the more powerful options, when you’re performing a task like checking your email. That all translates into longer battery life: 12 to 13 hours for browsing over LTE, or about two hours more than the iPhone 6s."
  17. kdarling, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

    kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Worse, a loss for Austin,Texas and the USA, since Samsung used a factory they built there, to supply Apple processors for years.

    Thanks, Apple, for sending jobs overseas... again.
  18. themick4u macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2014
    South Florida
    This is reassuring and great news! Please don't mix processors on your next iphone 2018 like what was done on the 6+ introduction
  19. potatis macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2006
  20. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Guys ... how else do you think the iPhones have great battery life with under 2000mAh batteries? The smaller the lithography of a processor the less power it consumes without loosing raw processing power. We've seen this in Desktop Computers (Going from PowerPC to Intel was HUGE), Laptop Computers (again from PPC to Intel, which was better than any AMD roadmap at that time), so why not apply the same knowledge to cellphones which has been happening since 2000! Back in 2000 a phone with 960mAh battery could have continuous talk time of 6hrs max on a full charge, nothing else done. today with smartphones millions of colours on a large screen multiple processes going on and magnitude of data occuring ... we get longe than hrs with a 1760mAh (est) battery.

    I think the proof is in the pudding. I'd love to see new battery technologies and I think Apple should invest heavily in this field for the future as it'll pay huge dividends to their product lineup.

    With TSMC already the exclusive supplier iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, and it was also said to be the sole manufacturer of A10 Fusion chips for the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and potentially the SE?! Man this company can really deliver!! Are they publicly traded at all?!
  21. IGI2 macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2015
    No, no and no.

    I like the beast performance and I would use it for Pixelmator, Affinity, video exporting, great games, recording 4K@60FPS with HDR, 480 fps at 1080p, etc.

    They should do the opposite of what you suggest. They should add powerful processors and smoothly decrease their performance but to the level that home screen is still buttery smooth. And everything should be easily visible in battery info menu, and they should inform about how much % the CPU is under clocked and how many % of performance in intensive tasks will the battery replacement restore.
  22. truthertech macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2016

    Again, see above post. iPhones haven't worked this way for several years. Apple builds ever more powerful chips because they use multiple cores where some are used for less processor intensive tasks and others for the ones that need the power. That's how they manage battery consumption but still have power to spare.
  23. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
    That is not necessarily true.
    If you don't use low leakage cells you can end up consuming more power than the generation before.
    You also must make sure you don't use too many high performance cells to meet timing.
    It's a balancing act and a geometry shrink does not guarantee lower power.
  24. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    So just to be clear that I'm understanding the course of action you're suggesting here: In order to not have to "artificially" reduce top-end performance on a 2-year old device with a weak battery by 30%, Apple should artificially reduce performance--by, say, 30%--on all devices when they're brand new.

    Let's just put it this way: If you give me the choice of a phone that will remain the same speed until the battery completely fails, versus a phone that's 30% faster but will drop down to the same performance level after a couple of years if the battery is in bad shape, I think I'll take the one that's faster for the first 2 years, the same speed after 2 years, and gets faster again if I replace the battery.

    Leaving that aside, fun fact: The CPU in a phone (or computer) does not run at full power at all times. In fact, most of the time it runs at a tiny fraction of maximum power. In the case of many ARM processors, they even turn off the high-power cores and just run the slow ones if there's not a lot going on.

    So if your CPU doesn't need to be so powerful to do what you are using it for, underclocking it doesn't save you any power. It'll just be running at low power anyway. On the occasions when you do need it going all out, it can use as much power as the thermal constraints of the package allow for a short period of time to do things fast, then ramp down again. Underclocking just inhibits the ability of the CPU to do stuff faster when it needs to. It generates less heat in the process, but since it takes longer the net energy use is around the same.

    You can in fact see this in action quite easily: Read email on your phone for an hour. The phone does not get warm, and you used relatively little battery, because the CPU wasn't doing much. Underclocking the CPU would make exactly no difference at all in this, since it was never running anywhere near max clock rate anyway, and may not have even fired up the fast cores (if it's a recent-model phone). Now process a video. The phone gets warm, and it uses a lot more energy. If you underclocked the CPU by 50%, it would use 50% less power, but it would also take twice as long, so the total energy use is about the same. There is no advantage, it just takes longer.
  25. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Probably Apple will say the same on stage as always:

    "And this new phone, will still have the same amazing all day battery life"

    Until the tear-down, when it's shown they have fitted an even smaller batter than the previews model.

    Honestly, if I was Apple now. Given all the publicity, I would 100% start to increase battery size, and really push this ENHANCEMENT hard during the launch.

    Something like:

    "We at Apple understand how important battery life, and the user experience/performance is to our users, So we at Apple have decided, to increase our new Battery to give on average an amazing 2 days of battery life, a 100% improvement on our previous model"

    They won't though I'm sure, which is sad.

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