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  • The iPhone6 will have TSMC 20nm, Absolutely!

    Article: Analog Panel Discussion at DesignCon-apple-a8.jpgTSMC 20nm is one of the most talked about nodes on SemiWiki with lots of speculation and debate surrounding it. It’s interesting to look back at what we thought would happen to see if it actually did happen so let’s do that now. According to Google there are 411 articles referencing 20nm on SemiWiki, let's visit a couple of the more interesting ones written by me (of course). This article is really for my beautiful wife and four children who rarely think I'm right so please don't point out where I was wrong:

    3D Transistors @ TSMC 20nm!
    by Daniel Nenni
    Published on 11-06-2011
    Ever since the TSMC OIP Forum where Dr. Shang-Yi Chiang openly asked customers, “When do you want 3D Transistors (FinFETS)?” I have heard quite a few debates on the topic inside the top fabless semiconductor companies. The bottom line, in my expert opinion, is that TSMC will add FinFETS to the N20 (20nm) process node in parallel with planar transistors and here are the reasons why:

    Dragon Boats and TSMC 20nm Update!
    by Daniel Nenni
    Published on 07-01-2012
    Even more exciting, TSMC has 20nm up on the TSMC website now! Exciting for me at least! This is really cool stuff and it is right around the corner. I also like the new TSMC website and banner ads. It really does show a much more progressive communication style for a foundry…… Expect 20nm risk production to start in Q4 2013, two years to the quarter after 28nm.

    Apple Will NOT Manufacture SoCs at Intel
    by Daniel Nenni
    Published on 12-09-2012
    My bet is: moving forward Apple will use Samsung for 28nm (iPhone 5s) and TSMC for 20nm (iPhone 6). Intel certainly has a shot at 14nm and 10nm but never ever count out TSMC. If you want to bet a lunch on Apple manufacturing at Samsung or Intel for 20nm post it in the comment section. I will cover all lunch bets against TSMC.

    TSMC 28nm and 20nm Update Q4 2012
    By Daniel Nenni
    Published on 12-16-2012
    20nm will be a much more interesting node in regards to competition however. After learning the gate-first lesson, IBM is following TSMC with a gate-last HKMG implementation at 20nm. Unfortunately the added difficulty of 20nm double patterning and lithography challenges, which have yet to be solved at a production level, is causing delays. The fabless semiconductor ecosystem is working around the clock on this and I honestly expect a hockey stick 20nm production curve once this has been solved.

    TSMC Apple Rumors Debunked!
    by Daniel Nenni
    Published on 01-11-2013
    The first rumor is that the next Apple A7 processor (28nm) will be made by TSMC. That rumor is FALSE! As I previously blogged, the Apple iPhone to be released this year (iPhone 5s) will be Samsung 28nm. The iPhone to be released next year (iPhone 6) will be TSMC 20nm. A company the size of Apple cannot switch foundries on a moment’s notice. The volumes are too high and the technology issues are too complex. I have no doubt Apple discussed 28nm with TSMC but since no other foundries had 28nm available there was no way TSMC could handle the wafer demands of Apple and the rest of the fabless companies. Apple also gets preferred pricing so why would TSMC give up higher margin 28nm business AND alienate their customer base? Not going to happen….

    Where will Apple Manufacture the next iPhone Brain?
    by Daniel Nenni
    Published on 07-17-2013
    There still seems to be a lot of confusion here so let me set the record straight. In regards to the Apple Ax SoC, the Apple iPhone 5s will have Samsung 28nm Silicon. Samsung 28nm is still ramping but Samsung can make enough wafers and eat the yield issues no problem. The Apple iPhone 6 in 2014 will have TSMC 20nm as I reported previously.


    Also read: Intel 14nm Delayed Yet Again?

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