For the first time since launching the iPhone, Apple will reportedly release three different iPhone models later this year, including the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, and iPhone 7s Plus. While the premium iPhone 8 is expected to offer a variety of features that won’t be available on the iPhone 7s models, all three iPhones will reportedly share the same powerful new A11 chip.
After some reports indicated that chipmakers were experiencing low yields with 10nm CPUs that will power the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8, a new report from China indicates that TSMC is ready to start A11 production in April.
Quoting Chinese-language site Economic Daily News, Digitimes says that A11 volume production will start in April. The company is preparing to mass-produce 50 million units before July and maintain capacity to manufacture 100 million A11 chips before the end of the year. This detail indicates that Apple will use the faster, more energy-efficient A11 chip in all of its 2017 iPhones, not just the iPhone 8.
History shows that Apple has upgraded the processors in its new iPhones every year. However, the iPhone 5c that launched alongside the iPhone 5s in 2013 packed the same A6 chip found inside the previous-generation iPhone 5.
The first benchmark results for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Exynos 8895, the 10nm chips that power the Galaxy S8, are already out, revealing massive performance gains for the upcoming Samsung handset. It’s likely the A11 chip will offer a similar, if not better, performance.
The report also notes that the A11 chips are built on a 10nm FinFET process, packing wafer-level integrated fan-out (InFO) packaging technology. That sounds complicated, but the bottom line is that it will result is a smaller chip ready to offer better performance while utilizing less energy.