Apple’s A8 SoC tipped to be made by TSMC

Mar 7, 2014
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Apple’s A8 SoC tipped to be made by TSMC

Further feeding the rumors surrounding Apple's next chip, Taiwanese media are reporting that the privilege of manufacturing the A8 has been awarded to TSMC. This creates a further gap between Apple and frenemy Samsung, who is gradually losing its grip on Apple's chip making needs.

Rumors were already starting last month that Apple is looking for someone else to make its own brand of mobile processors. The Cupertino-based company has previously relied on Samsung, ironically also its fiercest rival and target of many of its lawsuits, for many of its chips. Distancing itself further from the Korean electronics maker, Apple is reported to have approached a new processor manufacturer to fabricate the processor that will power its next iPhone generation.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC is a name that's been thrown around again and again when it comes to guessing who will be making the next member of Apple's A processor series. If this latest information is to be believed, TSMC has finally won Apple over to its side. According to the report, the A8 will be manufactured at TSMC's Fab14 plant in Tainen, Taiwan using a 20 nm process. Earlier rumors claim that Apple's reason for turning its back on Samsung is because of the low yields of Samsung's 20 mm process.

Details about the A8, which is expected to debut with the iPhone 6, are still uncertain at this point. The Taiwanese report tries to shed more light on the subject, saying that the A8 will still be based on the 64-bit architecture but will double the A7's number of cores to four. The quad-core GPU that will drive the iPhone 6's graphics is believed to be similar to the four-cluster PowerVR G6430 configuration used in the A7.

TSMC's contribution, however, might go beyond the processor. It is also rumored to have acquired contracts to also produce other iPhone 6 components like LCD driver chips and fingerprint scanners. Of course, these are all just speculation for now, and Apple is not likely to even comment on them.

SOURCE: Commercial Times

VIA: The Register


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