TSMC reportedly wins exclusive contract to build A11 chips for 2017 iPhones and iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 19, 2016

Citing a story in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News newspaper, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported yesterday that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will be the sole supplier of an Apple-designed ‘A11’ chip, which should power 2017 iPhone and iPad models.

In other words, Samsung could be on the outs for the next two generations of iPhone processors as both this year’s A10 and next year’s A11 are now said to be exclusively manufactured by TSMC. The A11 chip will be built on the foundry’s cutting-edge ten-nanometer FinFET process. Read More

 

Early CPU scores suggest modest gains for iPhone 7’s A10 chip vs. iPad Pro’s A9X

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 14, 2016

Early Geekbench 3 benchmark of the Apple-designed A10 system-on-a-chip—which will be the next iPhone and iPad’s engine—was posted Thursday by Dutch blog TechTastic.nl. Purported scores suggest the device may not be much speedier than the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro. The upcoming chip scored a tad more than last year’s A9 powering the iPhone 6s series and a little bit faster than the A9X in the iPad Pro.

On the other hand, the benchmarked A10 is almost certainly a prototype unit so final scores should be higher than is currently the case. Read More

 

TSMC’s Q3 revenue expected to climb to a record high on strong iPhone 7 A10 chip orders

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 11, 2016

Citing market forecasts quoted by the Commercial Times newspaper, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported Monday that shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) could hit record levels thanks to orders for the Apple-designed ‘A10’ system-on-a-chip, the engine that will drive the next iPhone and iPad. TSMC just posted strong numbers for the second financial quarter. Read More

 

iPhone 7 ‘A10’ chip orders to help grow TSMC’s quarterly revenue by 20 percent

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2016

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s top semiconductor foundry which Apple has commissioned to build ‘A10’ processors for the next iPhone alongside Samsung, is expected to grow its revenue substantially in the third quarter of this year thanks to these orders.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency, quoted by trade publication DigiTimes, said this morning that TSMC is reportedly forecast to grow revenues almost twenty percent sequentially in its third quarter “as shipments for Apple’s A10 processors will kick off soon”. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Intel cellular modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2016

Supply chain whispers recently claimed that a significant portion of LTE cellular modems for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be built by Intel instead of Qualcomm and now Bloomberg is reporting that Intel modems will be actually reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models.

Qualcomm is expected to remain Apple’s modem provider for Verizon and China-bound iPhone 7 handsets. Qualcomm’s boss had said he expected a major customer to diversify its supplier base. Read More

 

Intel shares details of next-gen Kaby Lake chips, Core i7 Extreme Edition and more

By Christian Zibreg on May 31, 2016

Intel today announced at the Computex 2016 show in Taiwan that its seventh-generation Core processors, code-named Kaby Lake, are slated to arrive later this year. It also shared details about an all-new ”Extreme” edition of the Core i7 chip for gamers and content creators, the Apollo Lake chips for tablets and hybrid devices such as all-in-ones, and more.

The company highlighted some of the advancements in performance, battery and media capabilities that the Kybe Lake platform provides. In a way, the announcement has paved the way for future Macs built around the Kybe Lake platform. Read More

 

iPhone chip maker TSMC to spend a massive $2.2 billion on R&D this year

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), the world’s largest independent chip foundry, has set aside a research and development budget for this year of a record-setting $2.2 billion in order to ensure its fabrication process technology stays ahead of competition, said a report this morning in Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. In 2015, the firm spent just $1.067 billion on R&D. Read More

 

DigiTimes: Intel to supply at least half of iPhone 7’s faster LTE cellular modems

By Christian Zibreg on May 17, 2016

Rumors continue to swirl that Intel had been commissioned to build LTE modem chips for Apple’s upcoming smartphone refresh, a marquee win for the semiconductor giant.

Tuesday, Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported that Intel may supply up to fifty percent of LTE modems for the forthcoming iPhone 7 models.

Although Intel itself will package the modems, the chips will be mass-produced by contract manufacturers TSMC and KYEC, as per DigiTimes, indicating that the iPhone 7’s ‘A10’ system-on-a-chip may integrate an Intel-built LTE modem. These Intel-designed LTE modems for the iPhone 7 are said to be faster than those in the iPhone 6s. Read More

 

Design of Apple’s ‘A11’ chip for 2017 iPhones and iPads has been finalized

By Christian Zibreg on May 6, 2016

Taiwanese component makers are currently scrambling to fulfill orders as the Cupertino firm is getting ready to kick off production of this year’s upcoming iPhones and iPads.

Moreover, Apple’s engineers should now be close to completing work on a 2017 iPhone and have certainly been developing a 2018 iPhone for some time now.

Trade publication DigiTimes wrote in a new report that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), a foundry that builds chips for Apple, has now taped out an Apple-designed ‘A11’ chip that will power 2017 iPhones and iPads. Read More

 

iFixit tears down the 2016 Retina MacBook, finds minor hardware tweaks

By Anthony Bouchard on Apr 25, 2016

Just last week, Apple launched the second generation of its Retina MacBook lineup with a bump in CPU and SSD speed performance, as well as in battery life.

iFixit has now torn down the new 2016 Retina MacBook to reveal what kinds of hardware gems could be hidden inside of the very familiar aluminum enclosure.

Unsurprisingly, they have torn down the new rose gold-colored model. For the most part, a lot of the internals are similar, although there are a few tweaks to the design and internal hardware that users will love and hate. Read More

 

Qualcomm is “assuming” that Apple will give LTE modem orders for iPhone 7 to rival Intel

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 21, 2016

Shares of Qualcomm have dropped two percent after CEO Steve Mollenkopf told analysts on an earnings call Wednesday that it may lose some of its “biggest customers” as they are going with a “second source,” Bloomberg reported.

The fabless chip maker’s been Apple’s exclusive supplier of LTE modems for over three years now.

That’s about to change soon: Mollenkopf is now “assuming” that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company. Analysts said they think the customer is Apple and the rival is Intel. Read More

 

iFixit tears down iPhone SE, reveals some interchangeable 5s parts

By Anthony Bouchard on Mar 31, 2016

Following the first day of availability of the iPhone SE, iFixit has gotten their hands on their own unit and has started their ritualistic practice of disconnecting every little screw, cable, and hinge that comes on it.

The iFixit teardown comes a day after Chipworks’ version, which revealed a lot of familiar parts in the iPhone SE that could be found in previous iPhone models, such as the 5s, 6, and 6s.

iFixit has not only confirmed these findings from Chipworks, but also provides some new insight about the iPhone SE‘s parts that is sure to interest its consumers. Read More

 

Teardown of iPhone SE finds hardware is a collage of 5s, 6, and 6s parts

By Anthony Bouchard on Mar 31, 2016

The first legitimate hardware teardown of Apple’s new 4-inch smartphone, the iPhone SE, has been conducted by Chipworks. Apple just unveiled this new handset at its recent ‘Let us loop you in’ event alongside the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

The teardown finds that the iPhone SE is more than just a new generation of smaller iPhone from Apple, but that it’s actually a very clever device that takes the best from the performance world and combines it with the economics of older devices. This allows Apple to provide a product at a cheaper cost, but with similar performance.

As the teardown reveals, the iPhone SE is actually a Frankenstein of iPhone 5s, 6, and 6s parts that all work together to create a powerful 6s-like performance experience in a smaller 4-inch package. Read More

 

Apple supplier Broadcom getting out of Wi-Fi chip business

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2016

Fabless semiconductor company Broadcom is looking to phase-out its Wi-Fi chip-making business, according to industry sources who spoke with Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Broadcom is currently Apple’s top supplier of Wi-Fi chips used in Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPods so it looks like the Cupertino firm might be forced to find a new supplier soon.

Broadcom designs its own products but contracts out actual silicon production to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC), which also builds Apple-designed application processors for iOS devices. Read More

 

iPhone 8 might run a cutting-edge 7nm processor

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 16, 2016

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. Read More

 

Intel has reportedly secured orders for a ‘significant portion’ of iPhone 7 cellular modems

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2016

Chip giant Intel has secured orders for a “significant portion” of cellular modems on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7, according to a note CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri sent to clients, a copy of which was obtained by NDTV.

The current iPhone 6s generation uses Qualcomm’s MDM9635M LTE Cat. 6 cellular modem and the previous-generation iPhone 6 series is outfitted with Qualcomm’s MDM9625M modem so if this particular analyst is right, Qualcomm is set to lose some serious money should Apple dual-source cellular modems for the next iPhone. Read More

 

Can’t the Feds exploit San Bernardino shooter iPhone’s chips to break into encrypted data?

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 22, 2016

The world’s most powerful government has locked horns with the world’s most powerful corporation in a battle that Apple implies has the potential to affect civil rights for a generation. As you know, the Justice Department gave Apple until February 26 to respond to its court order.

In it, the government is asking Apple’s engineers to create a special version of iOS that would allow brute-force passcode attacks on the shooter’s phone electronically.

Now, some people have suggested that the government’s experts could make an exact copy of the phone’s flash memory to brute-force its way into encrypted data on a powerful computer without needing to guess the passcode on the phone or demand that Apple create a version of iOS that’d remove passcode entry restrictions.

While this is technically feasible, the so-called de-capping method would be painstakingly slow and extremely risky, here’s why. Read More

 

iPad Air 3 and iPhone 5se will run A9X and A9 chips

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2016

A third-generation iPad Air will run an ‘A9X’ processor and an ‘iPhone 5se’ will be outfitted with Apple’s ‘A9’ chip, according to Bloomberg Bussinessweek’s profile of Johny Srouji, Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies.

“In March, Apple intends to announce an updated iPad and smaller-screen iPhone featuring the latest A9x and A9 chips, according to a person familiar with the plans, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly,” reads a passage from the Bloomberg article. Read More

 

Bloomberg profiles Apple’s silicon chief, gives a peek at secret chip-testing lab in Cupertino

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2016

Bloomberg Businessweek has published an interesting profile of Johny Srouji, Apple’s silicon chief (official title: Senior Vice President of Hardware Technologies), who joined the company back in 2008 to lead development of the A4, the first Apple-designed system-on-a-chip that made its debut in the iPhone 4 and the original iPad.

Apple is now widely praised by critics and fans alike for taking its chip destiny in its own hands. The article tells an in-depth story of how then CEO Steve Jobs had the foresight and courage to take Apple on a risky path to make it a fabless silicon designer.

Apple-designed mobile chips went on to differentiate iPhones and iPads on the  hardware level from competing devices using off-the-shelf parts. The story also gives us our very first peek at chip-durability testing at an unmarked Apple lab in Cupertino. Read More

 

Rumor: iPhone 7 chips to be encapsulated in EMI shielding

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 16, 2016

Korean publication ETNews is claiming that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 7 smartphone refresh will reduce electromagnetic interference by encapsulating major chips, including its application processor, into an electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding.

According to ETNews, key iPhone 7 chips such as the main ‘A10’ processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, cellular modems and RF chips will be protected by EMI shielding, which involves covering a chip’s surface with ultra-thin metal. Prior iPhones have used EMI shielding on the printed circuit board and the connectors to reduce electromagnetic interference. Read More

 
Page 112345...