2017 iPads Launch Could Be Delayed Due to Low 10nm Yields from TSMC

Trade publication DigiTimes said Friday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has received orders to kick off volume production of Apple-designed A10X Fusion chips for the next iPad. However, unsatisfactory yields for TSMC’s 10-nanometer process technology could disrupt planned March 2017 launch of the next iPad series.

TSMC reportedly will also manufacture Apple’s A11 chips for use in the iPhone 8 with volume production scheduled to kick off in the second quarter of 2017, the sources said.

Interestingly, if Apple does end up using the 10nm A10X chip inside its upcoming iPads, it would be the first time the company ended up using a newer mode on its A-series chips inside the iPad than on the iPhone. The A10X chip that will be used inside the upcoming iPads should be more powerful than the A10 chip Apple currently uses in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. And since they will be based on the 10nm fabrication process, they should be more power efficient as well.

The report also states that TSMC has secured that majority of orders from Apple for its A11 chip that will be used inside the iPhone 8. The chip is expected to go into mass fabrication in the second half of the year.


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