Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung, the manufacturing partners of Apple, are said to have started volume production of the A9 processors. The chip is speculated to be used in Apple's next-generation smartphone dubbed iPhone 6s.
DigiTimes cites unnamed industry sources and reports that Apple requested both Samsung and TSMC to make tweaks to the A9 processors just before mass production of the chips.
"Just before production kicked off, Apple requested modifications to the mask patterns prompting both contract chipmakers to rework wafers, said the sources," DigiTimes reported.
The modifications to the A9 chips are not expected to push back the launch date of the next-generation iPhones.
The DigiTimes report claims that TSMC will start producing chips for the iPhone 6s from the final quarter of this year. Samsung is likely to manufacture 70 percent of the A9 chips, while TSMC will produce just 30 percent of the supply.
TSMC has also won a contract to make audio chips and fingerprint sensors for the next-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which may be the reason that the company will manufacture fewer A9 chips.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are among the most anticipated smartphones of this year, which Apple is rumored to unveil in the fall.
iPhone enthusiasts may not see many changes to the external appearance of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but the internals are expected to be beefed up.
Along with a faster A9 processor, both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are estimated to get a 12MP iSight camera. Older siblings iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have 1.5GB RAM, but the next-generation iPhones may get 2GB RAM for faster processing.
A previous report also suggested that the base model of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may still come with 16GB internal storage. The upcoming iPhones are also rumored to get a new NFC chip. The role of a new NFC chip remains unclear, but experts believe that it will eliminate the requirement of a separate secure element processor, which means reduced chips in the iPhone 6s.
Apple is estimated to ship 80 million units of iPhones by the end of 2015.
Photo: John Karakatsanis | Flickr