New iPad, iPhone could require less power if 16nm process from TSMC is adopted

Karen Haslam
19 January, 2013
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is developing a 16nm process that Apple may adopt for future iPad and iPhone chips. The process should boost performance and reduce power consumption on new Apple products.

TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process could play a key role in a “breakthrough” Apple product at some time between late 2013 and 2014, according to Digitimes Research analyst Nobunaga Chai.

Vice president of R&D at TSMC Cliff Hou told EE Times that the FinFET process will have the same leakage power characteristics as the 20-nm process on which it is based, but it will boost performance boost by up to 35 percent and reduce total power consumption by around 35 percent compared to 20 nm.

TSMC is also said to be likely to secure chip orders from Apple for an integrated AP/GPU solution using its 20nm SoC process technology.

The semiconductor manufacturing company is reported to already be producing samples of Apple’s new 28nm A6X which could power the next-generation of iPad and iPad mini devices. According to Taiwan’s Commercial Times, TSMC has begun a trial production of the 4th generation iPad’s A6X processor.

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