Apple to ditch Samsung for iPhone 7 A10 processor

Thomas Wellburn
July 18, 2016

Apple could be about to ditch Samsung for the new iPhone 7 A10 processor in favour of TMSC, if a fresh report is anything to go by.

You may remember that for the iPhone 6 and 6s, Apple split the orders for the A9 chip between Samsung and TMSC. There was plenty of controversy surrounding the whole deal because users were experiencing differing performance depending on the chip they got dumped with.

Samsung got quite a bit of bad press due to their chips suffering from overheating issues and battery life inconsistencies, which was quite surprising considering that the Samsung variant was both newer and reportedly more efficient. While Apple was adamant that the difference was small and not enough to effect real-world performance, some users begged to differ, with the Reddit community conducting tests which seemed to show a 20% difference in battery life between the two chipsets.

Apple iPhone 7 A10 processor to be first 10 nanometer chipset?

There were rumours back in February that Apple could be considering TMSC as the next sole distributor of chipsets for the upcoming iPhone, largely in part due to the issues faced with the Samsung variant. Now, a fresh report in the Chinese Economic Dailt News seems to confirm this.

TSMC is already the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A10 chip which will power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2016. The Taiwan-based foundry will continue to be the sole supplier of Apple’s next-generation A11 processor that will be built on a 10nm FinFET process, the report indicated, without citing its sources.

TMSC has always been slightly ahead of Samsung in the technology race for quite some time, with the latter using a TMSC research official to leak valuable trade secrets on the previous A9 production. This time around, it seems that TMSC could be about to hit that elusive 10 nanometer margin before Samsung, which could largely be the reason why Apple has chosen them.

Obviously, the launch is still a couple of months away and things could be subject to change, so take it with a pinch of salt. Still, with the negative reception that Apple received from the Samsung chips, we wouldn’t be surprised if they have decided to ditch them.

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Source: Digitimes

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