As Samsung gears up for A-series iPhone chip production, TSMC boosts its own 7nm plans

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With Samsung yesterday reported to be gearing up to win back some of Apple’s A-series chip production from next year, TSMC is today said to be boosting its own plans to make processors for the 2018 iPhone.

TSMC last year became Apple’s sole supplier of its A-series, in large part due to its lead in ever-smaller chips. The iPhone 8 is expected to use a 10nm process, meanwhile the Taiwanese chipmaker is offering a 7nm process for next year’s iPhone …

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Samsung is said to have invested in 7-nanometer chip fabrication equipment, purchased specifically to win iPhone processor business. Digitimes now reports that TSMC is expanding its own 7nm plans.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is expanding the number of suppliers of equipment for its 7nm process in a bid to maintain an ecosystem pricing balance, according to industry sources.

Applied Materials, Lam Research, Tokyo Electron, Hitachi High Technologies and Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment (AMEC) are all being included in TSMC’s supplier list for its 7nm process, the sources indicated. Of the companies, Tokyo Electron and Lam are expected to receive most demand from TSMC, the sources said.

It’s not completely clear from the report whether the company is aiming to increase production capacity, or simply to diversify suppliers in order to keep its pricing competitive in the light of new competition from Samsung.

TSMC is the sole supplier of the A10 chip used in the iPhone 7, and is believed to have retained its exclusive supplier status for the iPad Pro.

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