According to a report from South Korean news outlet The Electronic Times, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, better known as TSMC, has reached a deal with Apple to be the sole provider of the processor used in the next-generation iPhone. TSMC and Samsung shared the task of building the processors for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
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The report claims that TSMC edged out Samsung to win the job thanks to its 10-nanometer manufacturing technology. TSMC is expected to go into full production of the next-generation chip, likely called the A10, sometime in June. The iPhone 7 is expected to be announced sometime in September.
TSMC notably produced the A8 chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but Samsung came back on board to shoulder some of the production of the A9 chip used in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. With that partnership, however, came a significant amount of controversy.
Following the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus last year, users started noticing differences in the performance of models using the TSMC-made A9 chip and the Samsung-made A9 chip. Benchmark tests and videos showed that an iPhone 6s with the TSMC chip ran cooler and offered better battery life than an iPhone with a Samsung chip did. Apple even came out and commented on the discrepancy, saying that “even taking into account variable component differences” battery life between iPhone 6s models could vary within 2-3 percent of each other.
There was also controversy surrounding the way about which Samsung went in winning part of the A9 production business. A Taiwanese court ruled that a former TSMC research and development director revealed a variety of the company’s top trade secrets to Samsung, allowing it to catch up and win production of the A9 chip.