TSMC Begins Production of A11 Processor After Initial Manufacturing Issues Resolved

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has commenced production of Apple's A11 processor, according to a new report by DigiTimes. The chip is expected to power the company's redesigned OLED "iPhone 8", scheduled to launch in the fall.

TSMC is the sole supplier of A11 chips, which could also make their way into the upgraded "S" cycle models of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and potentially upcoming iPad refreshes this year, too.


TSMC originally aimed to start producing the chip in April with a view to completing 50 million units by July, but production was delayed because of issues in the 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process. However, those problems have now been solved, according to today's report.
TSMC has begun 10nm chip production for Apple's next-generation iPhone 8 series, the sources said. Production was once affected by issues involving stacking components in the backend integrated fan-out packaging process, but they have already been solved, the sources said.
Apart from faster A11 processors, all three rumored iPhone models may include glass bodies and wireless charging (though rumors disagree on this point). It is unclear if the two LCD models will feature the same edge-to-edge display rumored for the higher-end device and what other features will be included.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that production issues could result in a "severe" shortage of Apple's upcoming "tenth anniversary" OLED iPhone in the months following its rumored September launch, but other sources claim production is on schedule.

TSMC was also the sole maker of the A10 chip in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which helped lead the chip maker to revenue growth towards the end of 2016.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: TSMC, A11 chip

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TSMC to Begin Production of ‘iPhone 8’ and ‘iPhone 7s’ A11 Chip in April

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company will begin volume production on Apple's A11 chip in April, with a production capacity of 50 million units of the chip aimed to be completed before July. The A11 chip is slated to power the new iPhone lineup launching later in 2017, including what is believed to be iterative "iPhone 7s" and "iPhone 7s Plus" updates, along with the specced-out "iPhone 8."

The A11 chips will be built on a 10-nanometer FinFET manufacturing process and are packed with a "wafer-level integrated fan-out" technology, according to a report by the Economic Daily News (via DigiTimes). For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, TSMC currently manufactures the A10 chip on a 16nm FinFET process. The jump to 10nm is tipped to yield chips that are more power efficient, and subsequently provide end user experiences that are snappier.


Before the end of 2017, TSMC is expected to "maintain a capacity" for producing a total of 100 million of Apple's A11 chips.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will begin volume production of Apple's A11 chips in April and will prepare a capacity for production of 50 million units of the chip before July, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.

The A11 chips, which will power the upcoming iPhone series slated for launch in September 2017, will be built on a 10 nm FinFET process and packed with a wafer-level integrated fan-out (InFO) packaging technology, said the report.
Last summer it was confirmed that TSMC would become the sole supplier of the A11 chip, with the design of the chip reportedly being completed around that time as well. The supplier was also the sole maker of the A10 chip in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which ultimately helped lead TSMC to revenue growth towards the end of last year.

TSMC company spokesperson Michael Kramer earlier this month said that an official decision regarding the creation of a major production plant in the United States would now be held off until 2018. Kramer said the company would lose much of its "flexibility" if it moved production stateside, but if it does end up building a U.S. plant for the production of Apple chips it could become an investment worth upwards of $16 billion.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8 (2017)
Tags: TSMC, A11 chip

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