TSMC Reportedly Lands Three-Year Deal for Apple's A8 Chip and Beyond

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Digitimes reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSMC) has officially landed a three-year deal with Apple to produce the A-series chips that will be used to power upcoming iOS devices. The deal is said to begin with the A8 chip, with future A9/A9X chips also mentioned as being included.
    The report claims that the A8 will appear in a new iPhone "slated for release in early 2014", although it is unclear how that timeframe would fit into Apple's usual product lifecycle. Apple has yet to introduce a device running an A7 chip, and with that chip expected to debut in an iPhone later this year, an early 2014 launch for an A8-based iPhone would seem to be too early.

    Apple has so far exclusively used Samsung as the supplier for its A-series chips, but with the two companies emerging as bitter rivals in the mobile device market, Apple has reportedly been trying to reduce its reliance on Samsung for component supplies. TSMC has been the most commonly rumored candidate to take over supplying Apple's A-series chips, but it has taken some time for the two companies to reach an agreement and work out any technical hurdles to the shift.

    Article Link: TSMC Reportedly Lands Three-Year Deal for Apple's A8 Chip and Beyond
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wasn't the issue with them that they were not able to produce the quantities apple needed?
  3. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    Jeezus, I can only imagine what the A7, A8 & A9 chips will bring to the table.
  4. Tankmaze macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2012
    huh, what happen with A7 ? they are testing small volume A8 in july 2013.
    that can only mean one thing, that the iPhone 5S is already in production with A7 (which is still made by samsung i'm guessing).
  5. jabroon macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2012
    I cant wait

    I cant wait to see what the next gen of tech will hold. Im keen to look back and laugh at how I only had 32gb of ram in my computer as it will be common place for a phone.
  6. Dulcimer, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    Dulcimer macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    Hmm... Many sources are claiming an early 2014 iPhone release. Could this be the larger iPhone?
  7. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    Doesn't this answer your question?

  8. Bhatu macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2013
    In next three years, they can switch to Intel too?
  9. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    I'd be cool with that as long as they don't integrate the hd3000 gpu :D

  10. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    I'm still waiting for them to come with built-in personalities that develop based on user input and facial expressions
  11. TWSS37 macrumors 65816

    Feb 4, 2011
    It's amazing to see the posters on this board (referencing previous Samsung related posts) revel in something that truly you would not know the difference between.
  12. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    This seems to be mostly about Apple trying to separate from Samsung. It's always good not to rely on any one supplier, especially one that you are in patent litigation with.
  13. HelveticaNeue macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Personally I've stopped reading any article that cites Digitimes as the source of the rumour, because they are never correct. They just throw everything up against the wall to see what sticks.
  14. Rocketman, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    Rocketman macrumors 603


    This is from the perspective of the foundry. With a July chip "release" end-user hardware can start showing up in September due to supply chain lag.

    To me, this means late 2014 to mid 2015 for the first "laptops" with A9 chips powering them. They will like like Airs.

  15. Steve at Jobs macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2012
    Maybe Apple knows that 5S won't be enought for whole year (same desing,slightly better camera) and release brand new mighty iphone 6 in two sizes 4" and 5" in spring 2014 before galaxy S5.
    Uff, i guess i'm an analyst now.:rolleyes:
  16. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    5S releases in the fall, and the iphone 6 comes out in Spring to royally infuriate everyone who bought a 5S only 7 months earlier.

  17. LastMinuteMike macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    It's going to be amazing. The A8 or A9 will probably surpass the Xbox 360 and PS3 in power.
  18. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I want a phone that does that! flippin awesome
  19. commander.data, Jun 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    commander.data macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    Given how Apple likes to test new processes in a smaller volume of shipping product before doing a new chip design on it, like the 32nm A5 in the iPar2,4 and 3rd gen Apple TV before the A6 was announced, perhaps the "A8" in an early 2014 iPhone is just a 20nm TSMC test A7 shrink that will quietly ship in a variant of iPhone 5S and they are just mislabelling it? A true new A8/A8X will then come later in 2014 as usual which is probably what they are referring to as the "A9/A9X" in their article.
  20. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    running ML? are you serious? :D
  21. Daalseth macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    You're right. I guess then, I won't be getting an iPhone until I can get one with the A9 chip. Yessuree, that'll be the one. I know I waited for the A4 and then A5, and now was waiting until the A6, but I decided to stop all this "not buying until the next chip comes out" nonsense. I'll set the bar really high and not worry about it for a few years.

    But someday I will get my first iPhone. Really. Apple just has to meet my (ever moving) expectations.
  22. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Not really. Just because TSMC has the equipment installed doesn't mean that the yield on those wafers will be good.

    TSMC charges per wafer processed. They don't guarantee a yield of useful stuff off that wafer. Obviously, the wafer's yield can't be dismally low for an extended period of time. However, TSMC has a very solid track record of substantially lower than average yields on new process technology.

    The fact they are starting at smaller runs this summer does not guarantee they will have the kinks worked out by Q1 2014. Capable of processing 50,000 wafers is different from actually doing it.

    Apple may not like what other parts of Samsung are doing but the wafer factories deliver the goods. TSMC has a solidly different track record except when talking about mature processes.

    If TSMC expects to get to 50K by Q1 2014 anyone who is actually depending upon that probably should count on Q2-Q3 2014 for that actually to happen.
  23. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
    Some people have no clue.
    Apple and Samsung are "frienemies".
    Apple needs Samsung and the reverse is also true.

    Apple couldn't get TSMC to dedicate fab capacity because TSMC didn't want to shave margins when they were already at capacity. Why give up margin by tying yourself to Apple, when you don't need to?

    If they produce the first chip this summer, it will be next year before production. You have to get through in system test, characterization and 1500 hour burn in.

    If the rumor is true, it won't appear in a chip until the middle of next year.
    It won't be in an Air like at least one person said. The ARM processor is not a high performance processor and Apple won't fragment the laptop products and put an ARM processor in one and Intel in another.


  24. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    XBox 360 introduced around 2006 ( 7 years ago )
    PS 3 introduced around 2006 ( 7 years ago )

    Faster than technology from 3.5 Moore's law cycles ( rounding to a 2yr/cycle ) ago is amazing ?
  25. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    All these numbers are created by Apple.

    Apple can rename their current chip to A31 and put it into the next phone if they want to.

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