Cash in the chips: Ap­ple’s pro­ces­sor plans

Mac Format - - APPLE CORE -

A9 chip, and so could lead to a thin­ner and lighter iPhone – the per­pet­ual Ap­ple dream.

Com­ment­ing on this pos­si­bil­ity, an­a­lyst Bonil Koo ex­plained: “With [TSMC’s] InFO tech­nol­ogy, we ex­pect Ap­ple would ben­e­fit from bet­ter per­for­mance with smaller form fac­tors. If so, we think [Sam­sung] would lose the IC [in­te­grated cir­cuit] sub­strates busi­ness for which it has been one of the sup­pli­ers, as InFO would not need IC sub­strates”.

How­ever, mar­ket an­a­lysts KGI Se­cu­ri­ties see it dif­fer­ently – very dif­fer­ently. While it pre­dicts that TSMC will in­deed take over the pro­duc­tion of the A10 chip for the next iPhone, it also ar­gues that the A10X chip – for the next gen­er­a­tion of iPads – will be solely man­u­fac­tured by Sam­sung in a 10nm for­mat (far smaller than the 16nm of the A9X). Much has been made of In­tel’s pos­si­ble en­try into Ap­ple’s chip mak­ing plans. It al­ready has 1,000 peo­ple work­ing on get­ting its 7360 LTE mo­dem chip into the iPhone 7, ac­cord­ing to Ven­ture­Beat, and may look to work with Ap­ple on its iPhone pro­ces­sor as well.

In­tel would make a ‘sys­tem-on-a-chip’ (SoC) A10, with all the com­po­nents be­ing bun­dled into a sin­gle pack­age. The end re­sult would be a thin­ner pro­ces­sor, and thus a thin­ner iPhone, as well as bet­ter power man­age­ment and im­proved speed.

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