The iPhone 6 is expected to arrive in 2014 with a faster and more powerful processor, that will likely carry the Apple A8 name and deliver 64-bit processing power that enables new iPhone 6 features.
Apple currently uses the Apple A7 processor in the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini Retina marking the first time the company designed and implemented a chip that worked across the mobile product line. The 64-bit processor in the iPhone 5s enables the camera burst mode and other features by delivering the power needed for processor intensive tasks like image processing and more.
A new rumor from DigiTimes claims Apple is already lining up suppliers for the next mobile processor that will appear in the iPhone 6 and in new iPads in 2014. The publication passes along gossip from the supply chain with a so-so record, but it remains one of the sources closest to the Apple supply chain in Asia.
According to the latest rumor the Apple A8 processor will make use of the same package-on package technology that Apple used on the A6 and A7 processors to put the processors and RAM on the same package.
While this is not a new technique for the rumored iPhone 6 processor, it is important because it allows Apple to use less motherboard space which enables smaller designs without chopping the battery size significantly. The iPhone 6 rumors suggest Apple will use two larger displays with higher resolutions, which are more power-hungry so a thinner iPhone 6 design would still need to include room for a large battery.
This new rumor suggests Apple is using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to make the Apple A8 processor, along with Amkor Technology and STATS ChipPAC, the latter of which earned 40% of the Apple A8 processor orders.
TSMC is often rumored to take over part of the Apple A series chip manufacturing as Apple looks to distance itself from Samsung due to heated competition and legal battles. Last year rumors suggested Apple would use TSMC to make the 64-bit Apple A7 chip, but that duty went to Samsung for another year. Now DigiTimes sources claim, “TSMC reportedly will start ramping up production using 20nm process technology for Apple’s A8 chip in the second quarter of 2014.”
The company that makes the Apple A8 processor is likely of little importance to the end-user shopping for an iPhone 6 in 2014, but the processor itself could help enable many iPhone 6 features. Three key iPhone 5s features rely on the 64-bit Apple A7 processor including, Touch ID, burst mode and slow motion video. Simply put, the power that a 64-bit processor brings to the iPhone is a key enabling feature in itself.
iPhone 6 features are still tough to nail down, but Touch ID is reportedly still on board and with a new Apple A8 64-bit processor consumers could see other camera and software features come to life later this year.
The iPhone 6 release is rumored for fall, or for June depending on the rumor. Fall is more likely for the iPhone 6 especially considering rumors that the larger iPhone 6 is still in the early stages. Apple is reportedly working on two iPhone 6 models for 2014. The smaller iPhone 6 might arrive with a 4.5-inch to 4.8-inch display with a 1280 x 720 resolution and the larger is rumored to come with a screen above 5-inches and with a 1920 x 1080 resolution.