TSMC manufactured the A8 processors for the iPhone 6


Given Apple and Samsung’s relationship, many had speculated that for the A8 processor that Apple could be turning to TSMC to help manufacture the chips as opposed to Samsung, who used to be Apple’s go-to manufacturer for their A-series chipsets. Well thanks to the folks at Chipworks, it looks like the rumors were true after all. Chipworks has found that TSMC was indeed the manufacturer of the A8 chipset used inside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. TSMC is said to have used a 20nm CMOS process to help fabricate the A8 SoC, and that the A8’s contacted gate pitch of around 90nm is consistent with Qualcomm’s MDM9235, which is another chip fabricated by the company.

According to a report on Friday, Apple’s latest 64-bit A8 system-on-a-chip, currently powering the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, is built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., not longtime partner Samsung. Less than a day after Apple’s latest iPhones made their worldwide debut, the team at Chipworks on Friday disassembled both models to take a closer look at the components inside, revealing an A8 processor fabricated by TSMC. The finding confirms rumors from last year claiming Apple would switched away from Samsung foundries to TSMC, which employs a 20-nanometer CMOS process for the latest-generation A-series SoC. According to Chipworks, the A8’s contacted gate pitch of around 90nm is consistent with Qualcomm’s MDM9235, a chip known to be fabricated by TSMC. Other substantial finds include previously unannounced NFC controller made by NXP that dates back to 2012. Chipworks cites insiders as saying the design was made exclusively for Apple, meaning the Cupertino company has had access to the silicon for at least 18 months. In addition, Apple tapped InvenSense for the new iPhones’ six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, unseating previous supplier STMicroelectronics. Texas Instruments also makes an appearance with a haptics driver used to control the vibrator unit.

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