New report from the Asian supply chain says that TSMC is beginning tape-out of A11 CPU based on 10nm technology.
Apple manufacturing partner TSMC is finalizing the design of the A11 CPU based on the company's 10nm FinFET process. According to Digitimes, the Taiwanese chipmaker has started to tape out the design of the A11 CPU that is expected to be available in the 2017 iPhone.
According to the report, TSMC is supposed to get certification in Q4 of 2016 and deliver the first A11 samples to Apple in Q1 of 2017. The small volume production would commence in Q2 of 2017. Digitimes' source claims that TSMC will produced 66% of all A11 CPUs Apple is ordering.
The described timing would fit, but there is no way to confirm this report. 10nm chip technology is cutting edge. There is risk that the yield is not high enough during productions. TSMC is reportedly already working on 7nm technology that is entering testing in 2017. This circumstance gives the 10nm process more credibility. TSMC has mastered it as they already move on to the next chip technology.
The Apple A10 CPU, expected in the iPhone 7, will be made with 16nm FinFET technology. The iPhone 7 is expected to be unveiled in September. TSMC is already producing A10 CPUs in volume.
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