New iPhone Chip Being Readied For Pilot Production

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Future iPhones and iPads may finally enjoy the new iPhone chip that TSMC is expected to tape-out this month, a report from CNET said.

In the same report, it said that Apple and its manufacturing partner are getting ready to use the Apple A7 chip on future devices. TSMC, which stands for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, will apparently tape-out—the last stage before manufacturing—the A7. If it is true, it will mean that TSMC can pre-produce the chip this year, so that its commercial production can be set on the first quarter of 2014.

Not in 2013 Apple Devices

Apple users cannot expect the new iPhone chip to be in the rumored iPhone 5S and iPad Mini 2, however. If TSMC sticks with the schedule, Apple fans can expect the new chip to be used in the devices which are set to be released next year—meaning, it will likely come with the iPhone 6 and iPad 5 or 6.

Apparently, the A7 will use TSMC’s future 20-nanometer manufacturing process, which will be ready in 2014. This is another reported timeline that puts the production of the A7 chip next year. But to make sure that it will be complying with the hardware requirements, Apple is apparently working out around the 20-nanometer manufacturing process.

These reports even fueled rumors that the Apple devices next year will come packed with the A7. Currently, Apple is using Samsung’s A6 chip for both the iPhone and the iPad. This doesn’t sit well for both companies, however, as they see themselves competing for the top position in the smartphones and tablets spectrum.

Samsung has been the exclusive manufacturer of Apple’s A chip series, but the company that Steve Jobs left is looking at diversifying.

Apple and Intel

There are rumors too, according to CNET, that Apple may turn its eye to Intel. As one of the most successful manufacturers of computer chips, Intel has apparently been overlooked when it comes to the new generation of smartphones and tablets we now have. But Apple is looking further than TSMC and Samsung.

There are reports that Intel is developing chips for Apple on its 14-nanometer manufacturing process. But all of these would have to wait until 2014, the CNET report said. There are many adjustments that have to be focused on before the A7 is finally launched on the new iPhones and iPads.

There is also another theory that Apple is looking at limited production on Intel’s 22-nanometer manufacturing process.

Next Year and Beyond

One can only hope that Apple and its manufacturing partners can launch the new chip this year. With the new Samsung S4 gaining market and attracting more consumers, Apple faces another challenge to up the competition and provide more power in its devices.

Hopefully, the new A7 chip will live up to the hype. The fact that Apple is looking beyond Samsung to manufacture its own chip definitely earned a lot of criticism. There have been some stiff competition between the two brands, especially when it comes to its flagship devices. With the development of the new iPhone chip under another manufacturer, we may finally be looking at the complete separation of Apple and Samsung—the two giants in today’s smartphone industry.

Source: CNET