According to a new supply chain report published this morning, chip suppliers of Apple's next-generation iPhone 7-series have started to book production capacity at their foundry and backend partners, according to industry sources. Chip suppliers including Cirrus Logic and Analog Devices (ADI) have recently requested their foundry and backend service providers reserve a significant portion of their production capacities in the second and third quarters, said the sources.
Cirrus Logic and ADI are both among the major IC providers of Apple, and reportedly will play a key role in the brand new design for upcoming iPhone 7 series which will be slimmer than existing iPhone models without a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The report further noted that "ADI will offer driver components for a dual-lens camera design for the model." We reported back in January that the iPhone 7 Plus may adopt a dual-lens camera system and in February we reported that Apple was reportedly testing dual-lens camera for the iPhone 7. Whether Apple will introduce their patent pending dual-lens camera zoom lens system is unknown at this time.
In addition, TSMC is expected to grab most of or probably all orders for Apple's A10 processors which will be featured in the iPhone 7 series, the sources indicated. The foundry has been aggressively expanding its 16nm FinFET process production capacity, and is set to move its integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology to volume production in the second quarter of 2016. We noted back in December that Apple would be one of the first to adopt TSMC's InFO-WLP technology.
The IEEE digital library describes InFO-WLP this way: "For the first time, radio frequency (RF) circuits with InFO-WLP have been fabricated to illustrate how the high Q inductor can be used to dramatically improve performance and power consumption concurrently." Japan's i-Micronews adds that InFO-WLP "will enable high-definition video streaming and fast file transfer applications," which could be very appealing to Apple if they wish to bring Apple TV to the iPhone as a streaming TV service over the next several years. This could be a very exciting technology over time.
The excitement is mounting for the iPhone 7 and on Tuesday we reported that a new financial house survey showed that a record number of consumers are on target to purchase or upgrade to the iPhone 7.