Apple A9 (mockup 002)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s top semiconductor foundry, and ARM holdings plc, a British multinational fabless semiconductor designer, have joined forces to make an upcoming 7-nanometer FinFET process a reality in time for volume production in early-2017.

TSMC currently manufactures the iPhone 6s’s A9 chip on its 16-nanometer process, while Samsung-made A9 chips are fabbed on a smaller 14-nanometer process.

The timing of TSMC’s seven-nanometer FinFET process suggests it might be used to fabricate Apple-designed ‘A11’ processors for the iPhone 8 in 2017. By comparison, Intel has said it will produce 10nm node processors in the second half of 2017.

The two companies want their future seven-nanometer parts to push “beyond mobile and into next-generation networks and data centers” and have set their sights on “low-power, high-performance compute system-on-chips”.

“TSMC will most likely use multi-patterning lithography at 7nm rather than EUV, which was once heralded as a savior for the semiconductor industry but spluttered to a halt after it had barely left the drawing board,” reads the article.

Apple has been using ARM’s CPU blueprints as a basis for its fully customized CPU cores in A-series chips since the A7 processor which debuted three years ago.

Although Apple is its top client, Taiwan-based TSMC also builds chips for the likes of Nvidia, AMD, Qualcomm, Apple, Marvell and Broadcom.

Source: TSMC via The Register

  • iPhone 10 might run a 14nm processor.

  • lou111

    F***, please…

  • Dao Sasone

    What about gpu? A high performance once would be great to pair it with. Soon phones can replace game counsel

  • Fear1ess

    If Apple keeps their production cycle unchanged, 2017 is the year for Iphone 7S.

    • iPhoneWINS

      ohhhh thats exciting

    • Shinonuke

      They will be building the iPhone 8 along with the 7S in 2017.

  • rockdude094

    iPhone 7 should have a 7nm chip..

  • Stephen Hedger

    Omg! This is incredible, so basically the iPhone 8 will be even faster than the 7S! WOW I’m gonna faint…

  • iPhoneWINS

    hahahahaha the boring iPhone 7 is not even out yet but folks are talking about the boring iPhone 8? omg hahahahhhhhhaa

    • Shinonuke

      I am hoping iPhone 7 will have a refresh look. iPhone 6 series doesn’t look that good to me; however, I am using the 6S plus because of iOS

  • Picapollo

    This is getting ridiculous…

  • David Diaz Escandon

    have anyone realized that they’re going within molecular level ? That outstandin, no matter if its going to be in an iPhone or not.

  • Chris

    That’s pretty awesome, can’t wait to see the kind of power it needs and whether it opens up possibilities to also down size some other components of the main board.

  • Francis Short Jr

    We wish