Showing posts with label TSMC. Show all posts

It's widely expected that this year's iPhones will be powered by the A13 chip, and according to reports from DigiTimes, the A13 chip will continue to use the 7-nanometer process, the same as last year's A12 Bionic chip. Today, the Taiwanese media confirmed that the A14 chip on the 2020 iPhones will adopt a more advanced 5-nanometer process:

 TSMC is expected to secure the first 5nm chip orders from Apple for the 2020 iPhones, the sources continued.
The A14 processors will remain to be supplied by TSMC. Though manufacturing processes are not directly linked to performance, the small gap between transistors usually means more transistors in the same surface area for better energy efficiency and smaller size. Last year's A12 was the world's first 7-nanometer process chip, and there are really few manufacturers that can ship 7-nanometer chips on a large scale.

This year's A13 will utilize the so-called EUV technology for a a more microscopic chip layering process in addition to the 7-nanometer process. Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, often referred to as EUV lithography, uses lithography with a wavelength of 10-14 nm of extreme ultraviolet light as the light source. Specifically, a soft x-ray having a wavelength of 13.4 nm is used. Extreme ultraviolet light means that the K pole of the ultraviolet tube needs to be energized by energization and then emits ultraviolet light.

Image Via Cult of Mac

According to the Taiwan publication Digitimes", the supply chain confirmed that in 2019, Apple's A13 chip will be produced by TSMC. In the first half of 2018, TSMC's global foundry market share reached 56%, so the industry assumes that TSMC's market share is expected to grab up to 60% next year, ahead of any other chipmakers.


TSMC took the lead in entering the 7-nanometer era in April 2018 and is the first chip foundry to truly mass-produce 7-nanometer EUV processes. With the A12 Bionic chip, however, we were able to see that the iPhone XS performed pretty well in speed tests, and saw a huge improvement over the performance when it matches to the A11 Bionic chip.
TSMC grabbed a 56% share of the global pure-play foundry market in the first half of 2018. With TSMC set to remain Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series chips in 2019, the Taiwan-based foundry stands a good chance of seeing its global market share top 60% next year, the sources said.
TSMC is also on the right track to produce A12X chip for the upcoming iPad Pros, it's likely even faster than the current A12 on the iPhone XS. It's reported that Samsung also announced will start producing 7nm chips from next year, however, Apple apparently will not give A13 orders to their biggest smartphone rival, but will continue providing OLED screens.

Image Via HEXUS.net

According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, an employee of Apple chipmaker TSMC was accused of stealing secrets from the firm and trying to bring it to a new company. Yet, Taiwan’s Hsinchu District Prosecutor’s Office only announced the employee’s surname, Zhou.


The report states that Zho was accused of copying confidential documents of TSMC's 16nm and 10nm process technology and related devices, and was indicted for violating integrity. TSMC reported it to the prosecution. However, TSMC will not make public comments or provide more details until the case enters the judicial process.

Surnamed Chou, the former TSMC deputy manager of technology stands accused of copying confidential documents regarding the foundry's 16nm and 10nm node processes and related facilities, and trying to take the data with him to a new job in China, according to Taiwan's Hsinchu District Prosecutors' Office.

This is not the first time we have heard the trade secrets theft related to Apple. Back in 2015, another TSMC employee was sued, due to he had leaked some research and development secrets to Samsung, which enabled Samsung to catch up with the chip manufacturing process, with the final result being that TSMC won the case.


According to industry analysts, TSMC will remain to be the exclusive supplier of Apple's A-series chips next year. The 2019 iPhone will be powered by the A13 chip. Since 2016, TSMC has been the sole supplier of the A-series chips, wins all orders of the A10 Fusion chip for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and A11 Bionic chip for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X (Via EE Times).


"As long as TSMC continues to offer something new at leading-edge every year and continues to execute well on yield, I could see Apple remaining sole source on foundry at TSMC for years to come," Arete Research analyst Brett Simpson said in an interview with EE Times.

The A12 chip for the 2018 iPhone will also be made from TSMC. TSMC's packaging technology is superior to other chip manufacturers, including Samsung and Intel, so it's not surprising the "A13" chip continues to be manufactured by TSMC in 2019.

Now when it comes to how will this affects customers, Apple's industry-leading mobile chip design and TSMC's continuous packaging improvements will definitely benefit future iPhone performance, battery life, and RAM management, etc.

Image Via Wccftech

Last weekend, we reported that TSMC factories were hit by a virus attack, now, some analysts said that the incident may delay the shipment of Apple's new iPhone to a certain degree, but the impact is very limited because TSMC has well prepared to handle such problems.


TSMC's closed down production line is said to be fully restored on Monday, but the accident may delay the shipment of the A12 chips and affect the company's third quarter financial performance. Mark Li, an analyst in Sanford C. Bernstein, said that Apple is one of the concerned customers, but the speedy recovery in the fourth quarter will minimize losses.

KGI Securities, on the other hand, explained in a report that although TSMC's 12-inch wafer shipments may be delayed, the impact on the upcoming iPhones is limited because "the upstream supply chain usually prepares for these incidents and manufactures surplus chipsets during the initial ramp-up stage".

TSMC provided more information in a statement on Monday morning, blaming the virus attack on a variant of the 2017 WannaCry ransomware. The virus has attacked facilities in Tainan, Hsinchu, and Taichung, including places where Apple chips are produced. an "unidentified vendor" provided the infected tool, helping them to stay away from the attack.

Image Via CNN Money

Several factories of Apple supplier TSMC were forced to suspend production yesterday due to the invasion of computer viruses, but the details are still unclear. TSMC is ramping up chip production for the new iPhones that will be launched this fall. (Via Bloomberg)

Though the problem has been controlled and some of the production work has been resumed, many of the company's factories will not start production until Sunday. TSMC also added that the impact of the incident varies from factory to factory. The chipmaker doesn't believe the virus was caused by hackers, but it's unclear who is responsible for it.


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg that this was not the first time TSMC had been attacked by a virus, but this was the first time TSMC had stopped production due to such attacks.

However, she declined to describe the specific impact of the suspension, including whether it affected the production of the chips as well as the impact on revenue. As early as May, it was reported that TSMC has begun mass production of the 7-nanometer A12 processor, which will be used in this year's iPhone models.

Image Via Redmond Pie

At this year's upcoming fall event, Apple will release three news iPhones that is featured with A12 processor. And now, it's less than four months before the September launch. TSMC, Apple's long-term and sole chip supplier, has already begin manufacturing A12 processor, according to Bloomberg


This chip is likely to be named A12, which will use an more advanced 7nm process, compared to the 10nm chip on the iPhone X. According to report, the 7nm process will be 40% more power-efficient than 10nm, and the performance will increase by 20%. Basically, the chip will be smaller, energy-efficient, and deliver super powerful performance.

The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. Apple and TSMC spokeswomen declined to comment.

Finally, Bloomberg reiterated that Apple will release three new iPhones in September, one is the successor of the iPhone X, one is the larger 6.1-inch OLED screen model, and the lower-priced version that featured with LCD display.

As reported by Digitimes, Apple supplier TSMC is going forward with better-than-projected revenues and profits in 2018, which would driven by production of new iPhone chips, despite it cut its full-year revenue growth target to 10 percent, and cause the stock shares decline around nine percent.


On the other hand, TSMC is set to manufacture the so-called A12 processor for all 2018 iPhones, The chip are expected to be made with the 7 nanometer process, compare to current A11 chip inside iPhone Xand iPhone 8 that is manufactured with a 10nm process.

The sources said that TSMC will see its revenue ratio for advanced 7nm process hit a high of 20 percent in 2018, and may therefore post better-than-projected revenues and profits for the second half of the year and register an annual revenue growth of over 10 percent.

For those unknown, smaller process dimensions tend to reduce costs while increasing density, which results in faster chips running at the same heat output. It is expected that A12 will become one of the first mass-produced 7-nanometer chips. 

Thoughts?

Image Via AppleInsider

According to Digitimes, Apple is collaborating with TSMC working on the microLED display technology which is expected to supersede OLED within the next few years. It seems that microLED screens take some of the key benefits of OLED over LCD yet further, offering even greater brightness, color saturation and power efficiency.


It's believed that once micro-LED displays can be mass produced both reliably and affordably, these panels could be used in future Apple devices. The company's use of micro-LED would likely begin in 2019 at the earliest, possibly starting with the Apple Watch, and it should choose to proceed with the technology after trial production.

Apple is reportedly collaborating with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to develop applications based on silicon-based backplanes (silicon wafers) aiming to sidestep the bottleneck that entails with the mass transfer of LED chips, indicated the sources.

The report claims Apple has downsized its micro-LED research and development team at its laboratory in northern Taiwan, and the company is struggling with some of the practical manufacturing aspects of the technology. The company was earlier this year reported to be moving into trial production.

However, the downsizing doesn't mean that Apple has delayed or given up development of the next-generation display technology. In addition to its work with TSMC, it's possible that the further R&D work being carried out in the United States.

However, the downsizing was not meant that Apple has delayed or gave up the development of related Micro LED technology, said the sources, adding that it could mean that Apple has shifted the R&D focus back the US as the initial phase of the research project being carried out at LuxVue has been completed.

Apple has been looking ahead for some time to microLED technology, acquiring LuxVue – a company specialising in the field – back in 2014. Some of its employees may be even part of Apple's micro-LED research team, in addition to former employees of AU Optronics and Qualcomm subsidiary SolLink.

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Credit Tech Awareness
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