Apple chip supplier invests $25 billion to help develop next-gen processors

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chips
TSMC is likely to produce Apple's A-series chips for at least a while longer.
Photo: Intel

Apple supplier TSMC will reportedly invest a massive $25 billion in 5 nanometer node technology in its quest to fabricate next-generation chips which could help power iOS devices.

No timeframe was announced for the investment. Since the company is supposedly currently fabricating 7nm chips for the 2018 iPhone, this will hopefully help TSMC hold onto its status as Apple’s A-series chipmaker for at least a while longer.

Major 2018 iPhone component already in production

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Apple A12 replaces A11 Bionic
The A11 Bionic is a fine processor, but the Apple A12 is expected to be even better.
Photo: iFixit

The Apple A12 processor, the heart of the 2018 iPhone, is reportedly already being manufactured. It’s being produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which has made Apple’s chips for years.

Even though the next iPhone isn’t expected until fall, TSMC isn’t getting a head start. It takes about three months to convert silicon into a microprocessor.

iPhone suppliers aren’t expecting business to pick up any time soon

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Tweak this iOS setting to make iPhone speakers louder. (Works with iPad and iPod, too!)
This year's iPhone production hasn't been seamless.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhone component orders for Apple’s suppliers aren’t likely to pick up until the third quarter of this year, a new report suggests.

It’s just the latest bit of bad news in a series of recent reports suggesting that Apple is slashing orders for its present generation iPhones, and may be leaving manufacturers with excess inventory.

Apple shares fall after iPhone chipmaker cuts sales forecast

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iPhone X laying down
iPhone X isn’t the flop many analysts predicted it would be.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple shares fell 3 percent this morning after iPhone chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) cut its revenue forecast for the second quarter of 2018.

The company and industry analysts point to weak demand for high-end smartphones as the main reason for the poor guidance. This likely has something to do with the fact that iPhone X sales have been in the gutter since early hype quickly died out late last year.

iPhone 8’s powerful new A11 chip is pictured for the first time

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TSMC A11 chip
This is the chip that will power Apple's next-gen iPhone.
Photo: Slashleaks

As we get closer to the iPhone 8’s launch, more and more alleged components are starting to show up online. The latest is what is reported to be the A11 chip which will power the next-gen device.

Made by TSMC, previous reports have stated that the new chip is manufactured using a 10-nanometer manufacturing process, which should make it faster and more efficient than the 16-nanometer A10 Fusion used in the iPhone 7. It should also be faster than the A10X Fusion chip used in the latest iPad Pros.

iPhone 8’s blazing A11 chip enters mass-production

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iPhone leak
TSMC has ramped up production for a September launch.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple manufacturing partner TSMC has reportedly started mass-production of the A11 chip that will power the iPhone 8.

The new chip is said to be based on a 10-nanometer manufacturing process, which should make it faster and more efficient than the 16-nanometer A10 Fusion in the iPhone 7.

Early benchmarks suggest it will be even faster than the A10X Fusion chip in the latest iPad Pros.

Samsung might get aced out of big iPhone chip deal

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iPhone 7 back
TSMC may be the company behind Apple's A12 iPhone chips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is likely to hang on to Apple’s A-series iPhone chip orders in 2018, a new report claims.

The report contrasts with one published earlier this week, suggesting that Samsung would be taking over the role of A12 chip manufacturing, on account of its investment in “extreme UV lithography machines,” some of the the most advanced chip-making equipment around.

iPhone 8 chip maker confirms fingerprint-scanning display

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Touch ID
Touch ID is making a move!
Photo: Apple

Whatever problems Apple may have been having embedding Touch ID into the iPhone 8’s display, it appears that it’s solved them!

According to a new report — citing Apple chip supplier TSMC — the next-gen iPhone will boast an optical fingerprint sensor to enable authentication directly by touching the screen.

Apple places massive chip orders for iPhone 8

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iPhone-7
Apple plans to sell 230 million next-gen iPhones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Chip orders reveal demand for the next-gen iPhones is set to exceed 50 million units during the second half of 2017, and hit a total of 220 million to 230 million units, according to a new report.

The new handsets are likely to be Apple’s biggest iPhone refresh since 2014’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus-era devices, and promise to boast major new features. And it seems Apple’s willing to bank on that leading to massive demand!