The first phones with 10nm chips such as the Snapdragon 835, Helio X30, Kirin 970, Apple A11 and Exynos 8895 are yet to arrive. TSMC is the foundry handling the production of three of these chipsets. Latest report coming in says while the production of the 10nm chips are going on, Mediatek and TSMC plan to begin trial production of a new 7nm chip with 12 cores!!!
The 10nm Helio X30 is a deca-core chip but Mediatek is going all out and making it twelve on the 7nm chipset. There is still no specific info on how the cores will be paired but the chip will be the first to feature 12 cores.
You might be wondering why Mediatek keeps increasing the number of cores on their flagship chips while other flagship processors like the Snapdragon 821 remain quad-core chips. The reason is said to be a way to maintain balance between power efficiency and performance.
The trial production is expected to begin in the second half of the year and begin mass production in 2018. Samsung has also scheduled its own 7nm mass production to begin the same time. There is also a mention of a 5nm trial production scheduled for 2019 by the Taiwanese foundry.
Right, now TSMC is focused on meeting production schedules for its 10nm chip. Some have speculated that TSMC’s 10nm yield is one-tenth that of Samsung’s that is why the Helio X30 chip will be arriving late. But the Taiwanese foundry and it’s Chinese client, Mediatek have denied it, with the latter saying that the chip is already in mass production and will be available in Q2 2017.