According to Chipworks, there are actually two different sized A9 processors floating around in the iPhone 6s and 6s plus released last week. That’s not really a surprise because Apple likes to have redundancy, especially when one of the manufacturers is Samsung. We’d heard that both Samsung and TSMC would be producing A9 processors destined for the iPhone 6s.

However, there appears to be a difference in size of the two A9s which might play a role in how the iPhone performs…

Samsung’s A9 with product number APL0898 at 96mm appears to be 10% smaller than TSMC’s AAPL1022, which is 104.5 mm. That could mean that Samsung’s is built on a smaller die size and is perhaps more energy efficient than the TSMC version.

Apple has run into issues with two separate OEMs before. Apple puts both Samsung and Toshiba SSDs in their MacBooks but Samsung’s often perform much better than Toshiba’s on read/write tests.

Additionally Samsung and LG display differences have caused Apple customers to show a preference for a particular OEM, again, usually Samsung. Lawsuits have even sprung up over the matter.

Chipworks continues to investigate how small the die is and if there are any performance differences between the two chips, so stay tuned.

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