Last month we reported that TSMC had completed the development of their 16 nano FinFET plus (16FF+) process technology and began preparation for mass-production together with its suppliers. FinFET is a technology to design and produce system semiconductors in a 3D structure. Today TSMC announced their progress on this process that will likely be adopted by Apple for their A9 processor.
In a new supply chain report, "TSMC has announced its 16nm FinFET Plus (16FF+) process is now in risk production. This enhanced version of TSMC's 16FF process operates 40% faster than the company's planar 20nm system-on-chip (20SoC) process, or consumes 50% less power at the same speed, the foundry claimed." This is the kind of performance we're likely to see coming to Apple's next generation A9 processor.
The report stated that "The 16FF+ process is on track to pass full reliability qualification later in November, and nearly 60 customer designs are currently scheduled to tape out by the end of 2015, TSMC noted. Due to rapid progress in yield and performance, TSMC anticipates 16FF+ volume ramp will begin around July in 2015.
At present it's unknown when Apple is expected to introduce the A9 processor. Suffice to say that the performance leap and/or power savings for the A9 is going to provide Apple's iDevices with measurable benefits.