Apple A8 (teaser 001)

A new story published by Taiwan’s Commercial Times (Google translate) and relayed by Agence France Presse has it that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world’s largest independent foundry, has begun churning out A8 chips that will likely serve as the engine for the coming wave of iOS devices, namely the iPhone 6 and the next iPad.

TSMC also builds Touch ID sensors for the iPhone 5s. The firm is understood to account for the bulk of A8 chip manufacture as Apple’s been attempting to decrease its reliance on Samsung, which up until recently used to exclusively build mobile processors for iOS devices based on Apple’s blueprints…

Citing supply chain sources, the story claimed TSMC had won most of the manufacturing orders for logic and power management integrated chips for the next iPhone, which The Commercial Times forecast would arrive early in the third quarter.

The chip is reportedly being fabbed on TSMC’s 20-nanometer process technology, as opposed to the current A7 silicon that’s being produced on Samsung’s 28-nanometer high-κ metal gate technology. Moving from the 28 to 20-nanometer process allows for smaller components, which helps reduce power consumption and the die size.

The A8 is said to sport a quad-core 64-bit processor and quad-core graphics. By comparison, the A7 system-on-a-chip runs quad core graphics and a dual-core CPU. The report goes on to note that Taipei-based website TechNews asserted that TSMC will now become the sole manufacturer of the A8 chips.

The Wall Street Journal said last June that the iPhone maker had signed an iOS device chip deal with TSMC, decreasing its reliance on Samsung. The Galaxy maker is believed to have dropped out due to low yields.

Apple in years past has purchased several fabless semiconductor makers, a crucial move that has led the firm to design the A-series chips in-house and contract out chip manufacture to Samsung.

  • Jonathan

    If that’s true, hopefully we’ll see an early released iPhone this year. 😀

    • Rowan09

      No I still think they’ll keep the holiday release.

      • Lady GAGA

        What happened back in 2007 according to LG

      • h4nd0fg0d

        Yep, if by holiday u mean sept or oct

      • Rowan09

        Yes the holiday season.

    • Andrew

      No chance.

    • Carlos Gomes

      I think that the manufacturing process begun a bit earlier to compensate the expected higher demand this year, considering how MASSIVE the Chinese market is.
      Plus, there’s a lot of potential buyers for a larger iPhone.

  • Martin

    Next purchase: iPhone 6

    • Lady GAGA

      And “Best comment of the year ” award goes to Martin

      • Martin

        “I’d like to thank Lady GAGA and all my upvotes for this beautiful award” *sniff*

  • Noah Mospan

    Dang, I was hoping for the chip that beat out nvidias mobile chips. I guess we will have to wait another year.

    • Carlos Gomes

      That cheap would be Tegra K1?
      If so, and if Apple keeps using the same company for the GPU, Tegra K1 will get its ass kicked really bad.

    • Alex-V

      i had a htc one x with nvidia quad core it was bad…ui and games was lag

      • chris125

        Tegra 3 was awful. The k1 looks much better.