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  • New iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Have Two Different A9 Chip Manufacturers, One Larger Than the Other


    Apple's new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus handsets are powered by an efficient and powerful A9 mobile system on a chip, but not every single one of them is created equally.

    As first noted by Chipworks on Monday, the two handsets' mobile CPUs are actually manufactured by two separate manufacturers – Samsung and TSMC. The two manufacturers help split the work, and therefore provide Apple with more parts at one given time.

    It's worth nothing that the two companies do not make the A9 chip exactly the same way. As it turns out, Samsung makes their version of the A9 chip smaller than TSMC makes their version of the A9 chip. The Samsung-branded A9 chip (part number APL0898) comes with a size of 96mm˛, which compares to the TSMC-branded A9 chip (part number APL1022), which measures in at 104.5mm˛.

    The differing sizes may or may not affect the performance of the chip. There could be a smaller die size in the Samsung chip, which means the performance of a Samsung-powered iPhone 6s may be better than the performance of a TSMC-powered iPhone 6s.

    Apple has sourced internal parts for a single device from two separate companies before – one of the most notable is their sourcing of flash storage in their Mac computers, which have in the past been dual-sourced between Samsung and Toshiba, with the Samsung units providing better speeds than the Toshiba units, but they've also been known to use both Samsung and LG displays in mobile devices.

    Chipworks will be providing more information about the chips' performances as they benchmark them further, so we'll continue to keep you updated.

    Source: Chipworks
    This article was originally published in forum thread: New iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Have Two Different A9 Chip Manufacturers, One Larger started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. the_chosen_one's Avatar
      the_chosen_one -
      I wonder how can u tell the difference between them without taking them apart?!
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      You forgot to square the size of the chips in the text Anthony. For a second I thought the 6s Plus had a chip over a meter big!
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      Quote Originally Posted by HovikGas View Post
      You forgot to square the size of the chips in the text Anthony. For a second I thought the 6s Plus had a chip over a meter big!
      104.5mm = .1045 meters. 104.5 centimeters = 1.045 meters.
    1. riassan's Avatar
      riassan -
      Quote Originally Posted by the_chosen_one View Post
      I wonder how can u tell the difference between them without taking them apart?!
      Possibly using geekbench app
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptum View Post
      104.5mm = .1045 meters. 104.5 centimeters = 1.045 meters.
      Right, thanks for that, but I was referring to it needing to be squared, as in 104.5mm^2, otherwise it makes it seem like one of the sides is 104.5mm or 1.045 meters long/wide.
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Maybe this is why the iPhone 6s is a bit faster than the 6s plus, according to YouTube benchmarks I've seen.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Just spit-ballin' here but, I imagine that once performance specs are known/modeled (via PassMark?), maybe they can be tracked to a certain range of serials or something like that. Just need to find the common elements. If the smaller die chip is really faster, whenever I get around to getting one, I'll be interested in that info and making the Apple dude go through several, if needed, to get the faster one.