While Samsung Electronics has attempted to offer low quotes to obtain 14nm FinFET foundry orders for A9 processors from Apple in 2015, it may be difficult for the Korea-based company to win the orders due to the yield rate issue of its 14nm FinFET process, according to sources at Taiwan's semiconductor industry.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is currently using its 20nm process to produce Apple's A8 processors for iPhone 6 devices, is confident that it will continue to land orders for A9 processors, which is contrary to rumors stating the opposite. Even the Samsung executive quoted in other rumors never said that they actually had a signed deal in hand. Implying it is just marketing lingo to get market analysts to see their stock more favorably.
Although some sources indicated that since Samsung also has some capacity for 20nm process it may take up 30% of A8 processor orders, sources in Taiwan believe that TSMC must have snapped up the entire orders for A8 processors.
While Apple probably intends to adopt a dual-supplier policy to have Samsung and TSMC compete each other for the A9 processor orders, the sources also believe that the A9 processors will continue to be fabricated under a 20nm process due to current bottlenecks at 16nm or 14nm FinFET processes.
Last week we reported on TSMC's work with ARM on next-gen 64bit 16nm processors using the new FinFET process.