The world’s premiere dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, TSMC recently announced that it has started full-scale production of Apple’s next-generation A11 SoC’s. The A11 which is to be at the heart of Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPad would be a produced on a 10nm fabrication process, the same on which its major rivals Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s Exynos 8895 are based on.
Currently, there is scant information available on the A11 SoC but if we can pick some information from last years A10 Fusion SoC, it is likely to house a quad-core CPU coupled with a PowerVR GPU. TSMC estimates that due to this change to a 10nm fabrication process we might see performance gains of up to 20% and 40% lesser power consumption compared to its predecessor, the Apple A10 Fusion SoC which was manufactured on the 16nm process. We will have to wait and see what Apple’s chip designers have in store for us though. The Taiwan-based semiconductor foundry is expected to produce as many as 100 million A11 chips by the end of the year.
The foundry though is not entirely reliant only on business from Apple as it is also the preferred partner for other fabless chip designers like MediaTek, HiSilicon, Silicon Motion and Nvidia. Although Apple has just announced these plans to produce their chips on a 10nm node, companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek have already announced plans to migrate to the 7nm fabrication node for their next-generation products like the Snapdragon 845 and MT Helio X30 respectively.