DigiTimes reports that Taiwan Semiconductor’s 20nm SoC tech, which the company has been investing in since early last year, is likely to get its first chip orders from Apple in late 2013 or early 2014.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is expected to start making an integrated AP/GPU solution for Apple, using 20nm SoC process technology, according to Digitimes Research analyst Nobunaga Chai.
Chai indicated that TSMC could now be working on engineering samples of Apple’s chips at 28nm although the foundry’s first chip orders from Apple are unlikely to happen in 2013.
Till now all rumors of Apple’s switch from Samsung, its current chip manufacturer, to TSMC haven’t panned out, most likely due to the large scale at which Apple operates. However, TSMC’s bid to invest in 20nm tech could pay-off, if Apple finds that the manufacturer’s facilitates and production are up to its standards. Recent rumors note that TSMC might start producing Apple’s A-series chips as soon as Q2 of this year.
DigiTimes, in its report adds:
Chai noted that though TSMC with its 20nm SoC process will most likely secure its first chip orders from Apple, the foundry’s 16nm FinFET process will play a key role in Apple’s “breakthrough” product.
While we don’t know what Apple’s “breakthrough” product would be, a few years down the line, it sure would benefit from the power efficiency that comes with the 16nm process.