Digitimes is reporting that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun to ‘tape out’ the A11 chip expected to power the 2017-model iPhone. Taping out is the point at which the initial design is finalized and ready to create the photomask that will be used for manufacture.

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There is, though, still some way to go before the chip makes it into production. The A11 is based on a 10-nanometer process, which TSMC is still working on. The company expects its 10nm process to be certified in the final quarter of this year, to deliver samples to Apple in the first quarter of 2017 and to begin production the following quarter.

Digitimes reports its sources as saying that TSMC is expecting to receive around two-thirds of Apple’s orders for the chip. It was reported in February that the company was to be the sole manufacturer of the A10 chip, with Samsung losing out.

Illustrative photo: iFixit

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