The iPhone has never been on par with the competition when it comes to internal components on paper, but Apple manages to beat rivals consistently when it comes to overall performance. The Cupertino-based smartphone maker improves the iPhone’s hardware each year at its own pace, although it also set some standards in the industry, including having launched the first mass-market phone with a 64-bit mobile processor.
That’s why it’s not surprising to hear that two companies are fiercely fighting to make the iPhone 7 even faster and more energy-efficient than any iPhone before.
Samsung and TSMC are looking to score iPhone contracts for 10nm chips, which would be even faster and more battery-friendly than the ones used in current flagship devices.
Samsung appears to have the lead when it comes to manufacturing 10nm FinFET chips for iPhones and other smartphones, but TSMC is quickly catching up. Business Korea reports that the Taiwanese foundry is going to test mass production of 10nm processors using the same technology as Samsung as early as next year.
In 2014, TSMC won Apple’s contract for iPhone 6 chip orders. This year, both Samsung and TSMC are expected to provide A9 processors to Cupertino. Even though both companies have other clients that could benefit from faster mobile processors, Apple still remains the most important target, as the company is expected to crush iPhone sales records in the coming months and years.
According to industry watchers who have talked to the news site, whichever company stabilizes 10nm chip production first will win Apple’s future iPhone contracts.
According to estimates, the faster processors will offer a speed increase of up to 20%, while power consumption is expected to drop by as much as 40% compared to the 14nm FinFET chips that’ll be used inside the iPhone 6s. 10nm CPUs are probably going to be available next year in Apple’s A10 series of chips that might power the iPhone 7 and 2016 iPads.