10 nm process pushes back smartphone production, launch dates
Taiwanese chip production company TSMC is one of the primary contractors producing Apple’s A11 mobile processor, and it seems that the company has hit a snag in the production process that may delay the launch of new iPads and other non-Apple devices.
TSMC has reportedly struggled to get sustainable yields - the percentage of working chips from a batch of manufactured chips - out of the 10nm FinFET 10 nm manufacturing process. The new manufacturing process produces chips from transistors just 10 nanometers in size which decreases power consumption and increases performance.
Problems producing an adequate number of 10nm processors are reportedly the reason that numerous device launches have been delayed. Sources say that Apple has delayed the launch of new iPads from early spring to late spring 2017. Scheduled launches for the iPhone 7s and iPhone 8 also be impacted if yields do not improve in time.
Samsung also produces its own 10nm processors and is rumored to have run into similar production problems. These production troubles, if true, could adversely affect the launch date of its Galaxy S8 flagship phone as well. MediaTek, which produces the Helio mobile chips, has also been reported to be struggling to get adequate yields for its Helio X30 chip, which it recently announced at MWC.