After taking a close look at the yield rates of both TSMC and Samsung, sources in Taiwan's semiconductor industry say the former company stands to win most, if not all A9 chip orders for the iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S, if Apple continues with its incremental upgrades).
Sources in the semiconductor industry are telling DigiTimes that “Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), which is currently using its 20nm process to produce Apple's A8 processors for iPhone 6 devices, is confident that it will continue to land orders for A9 processors.”
However, there’s also a debate regarding how many orders Samsung still has left from its last partnership with Apple. According to the same report, the Korean company may still produce a good chunk of the current-generation A8 chips. 30% of them, to be exact.
Yet most industry sources say they “believe TSMC must have snapped up the entire orders for A8 processors.”
Whether or not Apple wants both suppliers competing for orders, the sources also note that the A9 will continue to be fabricated on a 20-nanometer process because the 16nm or 14nm FinFET processes are experiencing bottlenecks.
We feel compelled to note that DigiTimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Apple and its suppliers. Plus, any speculation regarding the chips destined for next year’s iPhones is premature, to say the least.