Recent teardowns of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus reveal two different A9 chips in the devices, one produced by TSMC with a16-nanometer process, and a slightly smaller one developed by Samsung using a 14-nanometer process.
There was early some speculation that the chips were divided by model, with the iPhone 6s getting the smaller Samsung chip and the iPhone 6s Plus receiving the larger TSMC chip, but new data collected by an iOS developer suggests that is not the case.
Developer Hiraku Wang created an app that determines which chip an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus is powered by, a TSMC chip, or Samsung silicon. Wang has shared the data gathered by users who have installed his app.
Results from over 2,500 iPhones show there are more TSMC chips in the wild than there are Samsung. The split is 58.96% of devices for TSMC, compared to 41.04% for Samsung chips.
As far as specific devices go, the iPhone 6s Plus has a split favoring Samsung A9’s, with a 56.81% to 43.19% split, while the iPhone 6s shows a majority of TSMC-produced A9’s, with a 78.27% to 21.73% split in favor of TSMC.
For now, the two chips appear to perform identically, with no noticeable speed performance advantage for either format. More extensive testing will likely be performed by developers to determine any possible difference, and if/when those numbers become available, we’ll be sure to report them.
If you’re interested, you can install Wang’s utility on their new iPhones, but as with any non-App Store installed app, MacTrast recommends extreme caution when doing so.