It seems like Apple will no longer rely upon archrival Samsung Electronics for chips for its next iPhone. According to news coming in from various quarters, TSMC or the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, will receive the sole contract for equipping the iPhone 7 series with A10 chips.
The news is not exactly a bolt from the blue. TSMC was responsible for keeping Apple supplied with A8 chips for the iPhone 6 and 6 plus. Samsung jumped the bandwagon as a supplier when it received a contract — a fat one too — to manufacture A9 chips for the 6S and 6S plus series of devices.
Apple’s decision to take upon Samsung as an additional manufacturer may have stemmed from the increasing sale of its devices. With another supplier, the company could make sure that it won’t run out of chips in face of a surge in the demand — which is something that often happens with the iPhones.
What’s more, having two companies apply their own processes left Apple in possession of chips were same_ her slightly different. TSMC’s A9 for example, performed slightly better than Samsung’s in as far as its effect on battery life was concerned.
As for what may have prompted this separation, well we can only guess. It may be that TSMC was able to offer Apple a better quote for manufacturing the A10 or that the company felt better about the quality of the chips delivered from it. Of course, it could be a combination of these reasons. Some of the more cynical may even go as far as to call it a round about way to hit Samsung, who is often at odds with Apple regarding the sale of their respective smartphones.
Apple’s A10 meanwhile, is likely to be fabricated on the 16nm FinFET process, which delivers a stabler performance as compared to Samsung’s 14nm FinFET. TSMC is slated to go into production mode by June to keep up with Apple’s schedule of a fall release of the iPhone 7.