DigiTimes: TSMC to build 16nm Apple Watch 2 chip

Apple Watch Sport Taptic Engine iFixit 002

An Apple-designed ‘S2’ system-in-package that will power a second-generation Apple Watch won’t be produced by Samsung, like the original Apple Watch’s S1 chip. According to a new report by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, semiconductor foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has managed to beat Samsung in securing S2 orders. In fact, both the second-generation Apple Watch and an enhanced version of the original Apple Watch will be driven by the S2 chip, built using TSMC’s 16-nanometer process technology.

“TSMC will replace Samsung as the sole supplier of chips for the new Apple Watch starting the second half of 2016,” wrote DigiTimes, citing a report by Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA). The current S1 package that powers the Apple Watch is being built on Samsung’s 28-nanometer process technology.

Producing the forthcoming S2 chip on TSMC’s more advanced 16-nanometer process will result in smaller transistors, thereby helping reduce the size of the chip, improve processing speed and make the wearable device more power efficient.

The news came hot on the heels of a KGI Securities analysis by Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes there will be two models of Apple Watch slated for launch in the second half of 2016, with Samsung joining LG Display as a provider of AMOLED panels for the device in the second half of 2016.

The analyst also predicted that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn will enter the supply chain for the Apple Watch starting 2017, joining existing supplier Quanta Computer.

Source: DigiTimes