TSMC Ships 20nm iPhone Processors to Apple & Plans for 2015
In May 2013 Patently Apple reported on TSMC being chosen by Apple for their 2014 iPhone processors. That news came from DigiTimes that many think never gets anything right. The news progressed in September 2013 when we were informed that TSMC was on track with Apple's 20nm A8 Processor and then in December we learned that TSMC was actually ramping up their supply of the 20nm chips for Apple. And finally in March of this year we learned that TSMC was ahead of schedule for Apple's A8 production. So it isn't a surprise to learn today that TSMC began shipping processors to Apple in Q2. However, what may be new is that Apple appears to have abandoned their relationship with Samsung as a supplier for chips and displays.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Apple's move to work with TSMC is a real setback for Samsung who at one point was the exclusive supplier of processors for Apples iDevices. With Samsung reporting a terrible quarter this week, we heard nothing about them losing Apple's business for both processors and displays. Whether that was a part of their decline in Q2 and/or something to be reported on in Q3 is unknown at this time.
One of the surprises found in the WSJ report is that "Apple no longer buys iPhone screens from Samsung and has reduced iPad-screen purchases."
In the big picture, it was noted that "To ensure the quality of the microprocessors, hundreds of TSMC engineers were sent to Apple's headquarters last year to work on the project."
The relationship between Apple and TSMC is rapidly developing as it was reported that TSMC and Apple have reportedly agreed to work together on more advanced chips next year. TSMC is on schedule to deliver 16nm FinFET processors which is something that we reported on back in March.
For sure Apple's orders are great for TSMC, but Taiwan's Business Weekly is reporting that Apple's iPhone 6 will save Taiwan, not only its lifeless technology industry, but also save the Taiwan stock market because of the orders for the iPhone 6 and its various components.
Their forecast is that Apple will order up to 68 million units of the iPhone 6 or double that of the iPhone 5 in just the first round of orders. That's quite the leap. However, what the report didn't cover is how the order is actually broken down into 4.7 and 5.5 inch models.
All in all, today's news of their new processors shipping is the beginning of Apple's next wave of advanced smartphones.
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