After a string of rumors linking the iPhone 6 to a larger screen size, it seems production plans for the handset's internals are gearing up as well.
DigiTimes reports Apple has tasked a trio of semiconductor product packaging companies to supply the next-generation "A8" mobile processor. Amkor Technology, STATS ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering will apparently all handle packaging of the processor likely to power Apple's next iPhone and other iDevices.
In addition, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is also believed to have secured wafer bumping and foundry orders for the A7 follow-up. This is likely given that Apple and Samsung signed TSMC on as a third processor-making partner last December.
By the second quarter of 2014, TSMC is expected to ramp up production on A8 chips using a 20nm process technology. The upcoming production date suggests the iPhone 6 is right on schedule for this year, and we may even see it land as early as June.
Mini mobile processors
Sources didn't give many specifics on the new processor except that it will utilize the same package-on-package solution design as the A7 to combine processors and mobile DRAM in a single design. The A8 will just be a few nanometers smaller.
This design allowed the 64-bit A7 chip to blow almost every mobile processor out of the water, at least in benchmark tests. As the A7's successor, the A8 chip is expected to deliver even more power for Apple's future line of iPhones as well as the next iPad and future iPad mini.
So far, signs point to next iPhone rocking a much larger screen than what we've seen before, and it may come accompanied by a 5-inch-plus iBrother. A new, larger iPad (tentatively called the iPad Pro) is also rumored for later this year.
Just as the iPhone 5S was leaked into existence, we expect to hear more about Apple's next handset in the coming months. Stay tuned for more.
- If you haven't read our iPad mini 2 review, you're missing out!