TSMC Is Reportedly Exclusive Supplier Of Apple’s A12 Processors In 2018 iPhone Range

The chip manufacturer TSMC has reportedly secured all of Apple’s “A12” processor orders for this year’s iPhones, according to the latest report. So the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to remain Apple’s exclusive supplier of so-called “A12” processors for a trio of new iPhone models expected to launch in the second half of this year.

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

Accordingly, the relationship will see TSMC act as the exclusive provider of A12 chips for Apple’s various 2018 iPhone models. But there’s no official confirmation regarding this correlation from either party, nevertheless, the report is citing an individual who is said to have an internal connection and insider knowledge of the deal thanks to being well-placed in Apple’s supply chain.

Once again scoring a coup over Samsung, the Apple’s A12 chips will be made using TSMC’s 7-nanometer process. The A11 Bionic processor in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X is a 10-nanometer model – shrinking die size makes it possible to pack more performance into the same space an/or improve power efficiency. And should give the necessary progression and performance improvements to satisfy Apple’s need.

To keep ahead of Samsung, TSMC is said to be preparing a 5-nanometer facility that should start construction later this year and embark on a trail run in the first half of 2019. A 3-nanometer factory valued at $20 billion should begin construction in 2020.

If the report we are reading is accurate, then it will be a continuation of what has already been a successful and prosperous working connection between the two companies. TSMC exclusively provided the A11 Bionic for all current iPhone models – iPhone 8/8 Plus, X and was also the sole provider of A10 Fusion Chips which powered the 2016 iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

If this continues, it would be a moss 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 the iPhone SE, but Apple has relied upon TSMC as its sole supplier for newer devices.

TSMC gains, it would be apparent that Samsung continues to lose out after the South Korean company has been putting a lot of work behind the scenes to try and re-capture Apple’s business over the past 24-months. This report seems to suggest that Samsung will miss out on the lucrative contract, again.

Samsung was rumored to be competing with TSMC for “A12” orders this summer. For years the company was, in fact, the exclusive manufacturer of A-series chips, making use of a factory in Austin, Texas. Apple decided to phase TSMC into production though, eventually supplanting Samsung completely.

With that said, Samsung had actually managed to secure a deal with Apple to at least supply A12 chips in part for the 2018 iPhone range. However, this year iPhone models will use LG Display rather than Samsung’s OLED. This latest report also suggests that is not the case and that Apple will continue its exclusive relationship with TSMC and its 7nm FinFet technology.

TSMC may have won again this year due to its technological edge in 7-nanometer production. Samsung is expected to launch 7-nanometer lines later this year, with plans for developing 6- and 5-nanometer processes in 2019, and rolling out4-nanometer chips in 2020.

When compared, TSMC’s in-house InFO water-level packaging is said to make its 7nm FinFET technology more competitive than Samsung’s. Apple is expected to release three new iPhone models this year with each device significantly improved over its 2017 introduction.

Apple is believed to be preparing these iPhones for this fall; two OLED models, sized at 5.8-inch and 6.5″, and one has a 6.1-inch LCD unit, intended to be more affordable.

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