In a new report published by the Chinese-language Commercial Times it's being claimed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be the exclusive supplier of Apple's next-generation A10 processors with volume production to kick off starting March 2016.
TSMC will offer its in-house developed backend integrated fan-out wafer-level packaging (InFO-WLP) for the production of the A10 chips. The A10 will be featured in the iPhone 7 series slated for launch during the third and fourth quarters of 2016.
In addition, TSMC with its 16nm process has obtained half of Apple's total A9 chip orders, the report quoted the sources as indicating. The just-announced iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are all powered by TSMC's application processor.
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 two years."
Whether the A10 processor will borrow traits from the iPad's new A9X processor is unknown at this time.
As always, any rumor stating that TSMC will be the winner of Apple's chip business will be challenged and/or countered by future claims made by analysts favoring Samsung.