A9

Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c apparently won’t run A9 chip after all

Reliable analyst who have been calling for a refresh to the now discontinued four-inch iPhone 5c may have gotten one detail wrong: it sounds like the device, expected to be branded under the 'iPhone 6c' moniker, will run Apple's A8 processor used in last year's iPhone 6 rather than the latest A9 chip powering the new iPhone 6s.

That's what Japanese blog Macotakara, which has a pretty good track record when it comes to Apple leaks, said this morning citing “credible sources” familiar with the device.

How to check if you have TSMC or Samsung chip in your iPhone 6s

For the first time ever, Apple has dual-sourced the engine that drives the new handsets from more than one supplier. Both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) won contracts to build the Apple-designed 'A9' system-on-a-chip for the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

While these chips offer literally the same compute and graphics power, both synthetic benchmarks and real-life tests have shown small yet notable difference in terms of battery as the TSCM-built A9 appears to be more power efficient than its Samsung counterpart.

The question is, does your brand spanking new iPhone 6s have the TSMC or Samsung-built chip? You can find that out in just a few simple steps, let me show you how.

Samsung-built A9 chip in iPhone 6s found to drain battery faster than TSMC one, Apple doesn’t really agree

Does your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus come outfitted with Samsung or TSMC-built A9 processor? The answer to that question could determine how long your device will run before its battery needs recharging.

Your key takeaway is this: while the dual-sourced chips perform identically in synthetic Geekbench tests in terms of sheer CPU compute power and GPU performance, there's a marked difference in observed battery life ranging from six to eleven percent.

You could argue the difference is barely felt in day-to-day use, but I beg to differ: energy efficiency is paramount for mobile devices and the battery-friendlier the main processor is, the longer it will run on a single charge.

How to check if you have a Samsung or TSMC A9 processor inside of your iPhone 6s

You've probably heard that Apple is using A9 processors from two different sources for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. One processor is from Samsung, and the other is from TSMC.

It's been confirmed via benchmarks that both processors perform similarly with no major differences in performance. With that said, each processor features a different die size, which was first noted by Chipworks. The Samsung processor is the smaller of the two. Physically, it's 96mm squared, while the TSMC A9 is 104.5 mm squared.

Chipworks conjectures that two different sources were used due to supply constraints. They also say that they are further researching both processors in an effort to gain better clarity.

Ultimately, it really doesn't mean much to the end user, but I know that curiosity gets the best of us at times. If you'd like to check to see who sourced your A9 processor, you can follow these simple steps.

Semiconductor analysis confirms iPhone 6s ‘A9’ chip manufactured by Samsung and TSMC

An initial analysis of the Apple-designed A9 system-on-a-chip powering the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, conducted by semiconductor experts over at Chipworks, has identified both Samsung and rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as manufacturers of the package.

What's really interesting is that the A9 comes in two sizes, depending on who manufactured it, with the Samsung-built units being a bit smaller than those manufactured by TSMC. This is the first time an Apple-designed processor for an iPhone came in two different sizes.

iPhone 6s Plus vs MacBook Pro: Exporting 4K video from iMovie

By now, it's well documented how fast the new A9 processor is in the iPhone 6s. The benchmarks show a marked improvement over last year's iPhone 6, and it even compares nicely with the iPad Air 2.

The iPhone 6s benchmarks better than the entry-level 12" MacBook, and compares nicely with some the earlier generations of MacBook Airs. Needless to say, this device is quite something from a technical perspective. So much so, that I thought it would be fun to compare it with my MacBook Pro.

I decided to install iMovie on my Mac, and compare a 4K export between it and the iPhone 6s. By no means is this a scientific test, but the results paint a general picture that may surprise some people.

New purported details about next iPhone and iPad’s ‘A9’ chip emerge

Interesting tidbits regarding Apple-designed 'A9’ chip said to power the upcoming 'iPhone 6s' and 'iPhone 6s Plus' handsets surfaced Monday, offering some previously unknown details regarding its performance and design.

It appears that the next iPhone and iPad's processor could employ so-called system-in-package (SiP) design which squeezes some additional components into a tiny chip, including the baseband modem and the power management circuitry.

Moreover, a leaked benchmark purports to compare single and multi-thread performance of several unreleased mobile processors, such as NVIDIA's Denver 2, Samsung's Exynos M1, Huawei’s Kirin 950, LG's NUCLUN 2 and Apple's A9 and A9X.

Volume production of Apple’s next-generation ‘A9’ processor for new iPhones has kicked off

Volume production of an Apple-designed next-generation “A9” chip, the engine that will power the next iPhone and iPad, has begun at facilities operated by Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the world's largest independent semiconductor foundry.

According to a report published Friday by DigiTimes, a semi-accurate Taiwanese trade publication, the two rivals get to share orders and both have now started volume production of the chips.

Supply chain sources interviewed by The Wall Street Journal estimate Apple's ordered a record 80 million units of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus units by the end of 2015.

iPhone 6s rumors: supplier hints at 7000 Series aluminum body, TSMC building A9 chips

A new rumor from Asia suggests that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), one of the world's largest semiconductor foundries, is ready to kick off mass production of Apple's in-house designed 'A9' mobile processor for the new iPhones, tentatively called an 'iPhone 6s' and 'iPhone 6s Plus'.

At the same time, another rumor from Apple's supply chain has reaffirmed that 2015 iPhones will have a chassis made from 7000 Series aluminum, a custom alloy the Cupertino firm originally developed for the Apple Watch Sport.

More word Samsung will manufacture Apple’s next-gen A9 processor

Apple is moving away from TSMC and back to Samsung to manufacture the chip that is the power house behind the iPhone, reports Recode.

The report notes that Apple had "hoped" to rely more heavily on TSMC for the next-generation A9 processor - probably, you know, because Samsung is a huge rival - but things didn't work out that way because of TSMC's limits in manufacturing.

Samsung will be building the A9 chip using the 14nm process, which allows the chip to run cooler and draw less power from the iPhone's battery. TSMC is unable to manufacture anything smaller than the 20nm process that is currently used in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 

Samsung to supply around 75 percent of A9 chips for the next iPhone?

Apple's forthcoming S-refresh of the iPhone — let's call it an ‘iPhone 6s’ — is likely going to run an in-house designed ‘A9’ mobile processor and as much as 75 percent of the chips will be manufactured by Samsung, Reuters reported Monday citing a story in the South Korean newspaper Maeil Business.

Samsung is going to make the chips from its factory in Austin, Texas though it's unclear how much the contract is worth (likely billions) and which supplier has picked up the remaining 25 percent of orders.