Cash in the chips: Apple’s processor plans
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.