An article has shown up in ETNews in Korea claiming that Samsung has started work on building the A9 processor that will power the next generation of Apple devices. Last year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) were responsible for building the bulk of the A8 processors that went into the iPhone 6/6 Plus, and the iPad Air 2.
Image : A9 Processor for iPhone 7 2015
The A9 is thought to be debuting in the iPads and iPhone’s of 2015, including the rumored iPhone 6S, an upgrade to the current iPhone 6. The report cites insider information as their source, stating that the Korean giants are using their 14-nanometer FinFET technology, at their Austin, Texas foundry, to start building the chips, while TSMC brought their own 16nm FinFET technology on line earlier this year.
The A8 that powers the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6, as well as the A8X, a faster version that runs the iPad Air 2, were built using 20nm technology by TSMC. In recent times, TSMC has taken over the bulk of Apple orders for processors although, if this recent report is to be believed, that is about to change again.
Image : Samsung Factory producing A9 Chips
Reducing from 20nm down to 14nm will mean the die will be even smaller, power consumption much lower and performance far more enhanced over the current chipset. This is down to their being less heat dissipation and the electrons travelling over a shorter distance. If history does repeat itself, it looks like, this time, Apple will split the orders for the A9 between Samsung and TSMC.
The reasoning behind this is most likely so they don’t find themselves in a similar situation to the iPhone 5, when orders were delayed due to manufacturing issues and stock was in short supply.