TSMC or the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is responsible for manufacturing Touch ID sensors for the Apple iPhone. Apple had previously contracted TSMC to produce fingerprint sensors at their 12 inch processing facility using a 65nm process. Due to risks associated with the 12 inch Wafer Level Packaging (WLP) process, the production yield has so far been limited to between 70-80%. This is set to change.
A report published by DigiTimes claims that Apple has now chosen TSMC’s 8 inch processing facility. This fab will allow mature yield rates for fingerprint sensors for the next generation iPhone. Yield rates for the 8inch WLP is expected to cross 95% which is significantly higher compared to the 12 inch facility. TSMC will outsource the packaging process to back end houses. The company has identified Xintec and China WLCSP to be subcontracted as backend partners. The consumer facing benefit of this change will be increased availability of the next generation iPhone. Supply for the iPhone 5s remained limited around the holiday season due to supply constraints for TouchID sensors. A 15-20% increase in fingerprint sensor yields should help mitigate this for future models.
[Via – DigiTimes]