Apple’s top chipmaker will double production ahead of iPhone 7


TSMC is looking likely to be Apple's sole A10 manufacturer.
Photo: Apple

There’s a lot of talk about slowing iPhone sales, but you wouldn’t get that impression from the manufacturer set to build Apple’s A10 chips for the upcoming iPhone 7.

According to a new report, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is doubling its monthly output capacity from 40,000 12-inch wafers in February to a whopping 80,000 in March.

During the company’s most recent investor meeting, co-CEO CC Wei said TSMC’s chip-making market share is likely to rise significantly, from 40 percent in 2015 to more than 70 percent this year. While Apple isn’t explicitly mentioned in today’s report, it is one of TSMC’s major 16nm customers — alongside Xilinx, MediaTek, HiSilicon, Spreadtrum and Nvidia.

Supposedly, TSMC won the A10 contract from rival Samsung last year, promising to improve chip performance, lower costs and save on battery life compared to the A9 SoC (system-on-chip) found in the iPhone 6s.

Recently, TSMC spent a massive $81.8 million on new equipment to manufacturer chips, while also setting aside a budget of $9 billion to $10 billion for 2016, which will be used for developing the foundry’s new 10-nanometer processes.

TSMC still has yet to be officially confirmed as Apple’s only A10 chipmaker (the battle to build the A9 chips got pretty heated before Apple eventually decided to split orders between TSMC and Samsung), but all signs are pointing to this being the case.

And TSMC seems confident that it’ll be ready!

Source: Digitimes


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