TSMC Gets to Work on Apple’s 10nm A11 Chips for 2017

TSMC lobby

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has started to “tape out” the design for Apple’s A11 chipsets for 2017, according to a new report. The chips will be manufactured using a cutting-edge 10-nanometer process.

“TSMC is expected to achieve certification on its 10nm process in the fourth quarter of 2016, and deliver product samples to the customer for validation in the first quarter of 2017, the sources continued,” reads the report from DigiTimes.

Providing all goes as planned, TSMC is expected to start producing A11 chips in small volumes as early as the second quarter of 2017. It’s thought the company will eventually manufacture around two-thirds of Apple’s entire A11 supply.

These A11 chips are likely to first appear in next year’s iPhone. Thanks to that new 10nm manufacturing process, they should be faster and more efficient than the chips we’re using today, burning through less battery life even when performing intensive tasks.

The A9 chipset Apple uses in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus today is manufactured using either a 16-nanometer process (when built by TSMC), or a 14-nanometer process (when built by Samsung).

This year’s iPhone, which is likely to be named iPhone 7, will ship with an Apple A10 chip. Recent reports have claimed that chip will be manufactured solely by TSMC using the 16-nanometer FinFET process, and could be accompanied by 3GB of RAM.

[Via DigiTimes]