iPhone 6s teardown
There's a saying that what goes around comes around. Apple turned to two different companies to make its new A9 processor, and now the decision is backfiring.
As teardown experts Chipworks originally reported, Apple has two models of the CPU in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: a smaller chip made by Samsung, and a slightly larger chip made by TSMC. The Samsung device is made on a 14nm process, while the TSMC chip is made on a 16nm process.
"For Apple to go through all the trouble of dual-sourcing a custom designed part and launching on day one with both parts, suggests major sourcing problems. For cost and power reasons, there is little reason to run a larger die, unless the smaller die was not available at the right volumes," Chipworks said.
This would all be just a curiosity except that Redditors started claiming, based on Geekbench battery tests done in China, that the TSMC chip has 20 percent better battery life than the Samsung one. The split between Samsung and TSMC chips isn't clear, with one person on the thread saying 25 percent of A9s are made by Samsung while another one says 60 percent are from Samsung.