Samsung has always been Apple's partner in manufacturing iPads, iPhones and iPods touch processors. Because of the legal dispute between them, however, Ma decided to try to move away from South Korea and approached TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company). Both Samsung and TSMC currently manufacture the A9. Which no one imagined, however, that there would be any difference between the chips produced by them.
As it always does, the Chipworks decided to dissect the iPhone 6s for a look at the A9 and was surprised to find that processors made by Samsung and TSMC come in different sizes despite being intended for the same product: iPhones 6s and 6s Plus. While the South Korean has 96mm (APL0898), the Taiwanese has 104.5mm (APL1022).
With that, some doubts are in the air. Do they both use the same manufacturing process (16 nanometers) or is Samsung using more advanced technology (14 nanometers)? Does this difference in size (and perhaps in the manufacturing process) influence chip performance? Samsung's most energy-efficient processor?
Using two or more vendors is quite common, but this possible differentiation in the manufacturing process and the possibility that they deliver different performances is quite odd (although it is not impossible we had cases like on the MacBook Air that Apple used Toshiba and Toshiba SSDs. Samsung with different performances, as well as LG and Samsung displays which also had different issues).
Chipworks analyzes the two units of new iPhones with different chips to better understand all this. We will keep an eye!
Update · 09/29/2015 s 16:29
Some people claimed that this differentiation of chips would be tied to the model of the device (while the 6s would be powered by the Samsung processor, the 6s Plus would be made by TSMC). Because the developer Hiraku Wang It ended this theory.
He created an app that can determine if an iPhone has a Samsung or TSMC chip and shared data collected from users (approximately 2,500) who installed the app. In total, at least with this sample, there are more chips from TSMC (58.96%) than from Samsung (41.04%). Note that the division of these A9 chips between iPhones 6s and 6s Plus is not at all similar.
Although it is relatively easy to see which A9 processor your iPhone 6s has, we do not recommend that you take this test as I need to install a business profile for his app to run and collect the data. The problem is that other information can also be sent without your knowledge. To install such profiles, it is essential to know the developer or the company in question as we do not know Wang, we can not encourage this. Therefore, follow at your own risk.