Apple has used Samsung as a manufacturer of iPhone chips in its iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus range, but is seemingly ending the partnership for its upcoming handsets.
Last year Apple chose to split the orders for A9 chip for the iPhone 6s/6s Plus between the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Samsung.
While Samsung and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) both produced the 6S's A9 chip, in February TSMC was revealed as the sole manufacturer for the upcoming iPhone 7's A10 chip.
According to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), the Taiwan-based foundry will be the sole supplier of Apple's next-generation A11 chip, which will be built on a 10nm FinFET process. Two, Apple was reportedly impressed with TSMC's 10-nanometer manufacturing process and found it to be more cost-effective than Samsung's offering. Besides Apple, MediaTek, Xilinx, and HiSilicon are also expected to use the company's 10nm process technology. But according to some reports, this year the company made a decision to give the orders for the A10 chips for upcoming iPhone 7 exclusively to TSMC, taking Samsung completely out of the picture. TSMC could begin small-volume production for the A11 chips as early as the second quarter of 2017, the sources were quoted as saying in the report. However, Apple does tend to keep two suppliers on the line for a lot of its critical parts like processors and displays, so this would be a step away from that strategy. The company has taped out the design for the processor.
TSMC is expected to start preliminary A11 chip production in the second quarter of 2017 in preparation for what's now being called the iPhone 8.