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Apple partner TSMC is said to start making chips for new iPhones

Apple is also trying to get ahead of 7-nanometer designs from Qualcomm Inc., the biggest maker of mobile phone chips

Bloomberg 

Apple iPhone

Inc. manufacturing partner has started mass production of next-generation processors for new iPhones launching later this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current devices like the and iPhone X, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. and TSMC spokeswomen declined to comment.

More-capable chips help smartphones run apps faster and last longer before having to be recharged, key advantages in a competitive industry that’s struggling to grow.

In April, TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said it started mass-producing 7-nanometer processors, but didn’t disclose it was building them for a specific partner.

Apple would be one of the first phone makers to use the new chip technology in consumer devices, but it isn’t the only one. , Apple’s biggest competitor, is working on adding these components to its new phones, and said on Tuesday it will start churning out processors using the technique this year.

Apple is also trying to get ahead of 7-nanometer designs from Qualcomm Inc., the biggest maker of mobile phone chips. Huawei Technologies Co. is also grabbing market share in China with its phones and in-house designed processors.

Apple plans to launch at least a trio of new iPhones this fall, including a larger version of the iPhone X’s design, an update to the current size, and a lower-cost model with many of the iPhone X’s features but with a cheaper LCD screen.

TSMC wants to spend more than $10 billion to expand its Hsinchu headquarters production facility, which includes a research and development center where it builds the latest chip technology.

First Published: Thu, May 24 2018. 02:29 IST
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