It's being reported this morning that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will use its 8-inch processing, instead of 12-inch, to produce fingerprint sensors for Apple's next-generation iPhone due to concerns about yield rates for 12-inch wafer-level packaging (WLP).
Apple previously decided to have TSMC produce fingerprint sensors for its next-generation iPhone at the foundry's 12-inch facilities using a 65nm process, the sources noted. However, acknowledging risks associated with 12-inch WLP technologies, Apple has finally chosen TSMC's 8-inch processing which enables mature yield rates for WLP to produce the fingerprint sensors, the sources said.
DigiTimes reports that Yield rates for 8-inch WLP are able to exceed 95%, while those for 12-inch WLP at TSMC's facilities at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) stay between 70% and 80%, the sources revealed.
Last month Apple announced that they had sold a record 51 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. However, Wall Street was hoping that Apple would have shipped at least 55 million units. Apple could have hit that number handedly if they were able to produce enough iPhone 5S models. The hold up in production was due to the yield rate for Apple's Touch ID component. Apple's shift to an 8-inch component for the Touch ID component for next generation iPhones will ensure that volume production won't be hindered.
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