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TSMC Integrated Fan-Out (inFO) Package in Apple’s A10 Application Processor

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A10 pop info tsmc flyer

Reverse engineering and costing of the new inFO packaging technology from TSMC used for Apple’s latest A10 application processor, found in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Each year, Apple integrates new technology and innovations into the iPhone. This year, with the iPhone 7, Apple is the first to bring out Package on Package (PoP) Wafer-Level Packaging (WLP) at the consumer scale. For its new application processor (AP), the A10, Apple has decided to use TSMC’s new integrated Fan-Out PoP (inFO-PoP) packaging technology.

Located on the main board, the application processor (bottom package) and the DRAM Chip (top package) are in PoP configuration. Depending on the version (iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus), the DRAM memory has different space management.

The Apple A10 is a wafer-level package using TSMC’s packaging technology with copper pillar Through inFO Vias (TIVs) to replace the well-known Through Molded Via (TMV) technology. With this new technology, Apple has made a huge break from traditional PoP packaging found in previous AP generations. In this report, we show the differences and the innovations of this package, including copper pillars, the redistribution layer, and silicon high density capacitor integration. A detailed comparison will give the pros and cons of inFO technology compared to PoP packaging used in the Exynos 8 and the Snapdragon 820.

Thanks to the inFO process, Apple is able to offer a very thin package on package, with a high number of I/O pads and better thermal management. The result is a very cost-effective component that can compete with any well-known PoP. This report also compares costs with other chips and includes a technical comparison with the previous Apple AP, the A9.


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Table of contents

Overview / Introduction


Company profile & Supply Chain


Physical Analysis

> Physical Analysis Methodology
> iPhone 7 Plus Disassembly
   - A10 die removal
> A10 Packaging Analysis
   - Package view and dimensions
   - Package opening
   - Package cross-section
> Land-Side Decoupling Capacitor
   - Die view and dimensions
> PoP Comparison (Samsung’s PoP and Shinko’s MCeP)
> A10 Die Analysis
   - Die view and dimensions
   - Die cross-section
   - Die process
> Comparison with Previous Generation (A9)












































Manufacturing Process Flow

> Chip Fabrication Unit
> Packaging Fabrication Unit
> inFO Package Process Flow


Cost Analysis

> Synthesis of the Cost Analysis
> Supply Chain Description
> Yield Hypotheses
> A10 Die Cost Analysis
    - Wafer cost
> Die cost
> inFO Package Cost Analysis
    - inFO wafer front-end cost
    - inFO cost by process step
> Final Test Cost
> Component Cost



Estimated Price Analysis


Cost and Price Comparison with Samsung’s PoP and Shinko’s MCeP



About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems. Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product. System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in Integrated Circuits - Power Devices & Modules - MEMS & Sensors - Photonics – LED - Imaging – Display - Packaging - Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

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  • Detailed photos

  • Precise measurements

  • Material analysis

  • Manufacturing process flow

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Estimated sales price

  • Comparison with Samsung Exynos 8 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

  • Comparison of Apple A10 with Apple A9