Apple’s A14 Chips Expected to Arrive on Time as TSMC Will Reportedly Kick off 5nm Production in April
Back in January this year, it was reported that TSMC would commence mass production of its 5nm node in Q2 2020. This would mean that lucrative clients like Apple and Huawei would be able to use the technology to unveil their latest and greatest mobile silicon yet. For Apple, its A14, or A14 Bionic, whatever you want to call it could arrive right on cue as production from TSMC’s side for its 5nm chips is expected to start in April.
TSMC’s 5nm Process Is Fully Booked by Unnamed Clients but Will the First 5nm SoC Be the A13X Bionic, or A14 Bionic?
The report surrounding TSMC’s plans comes from DigiTimes and viewing the complete text requires a proper subscription. Still, the small amount of detail provided below ensured us of the manufacturer’s plans for the future.
“TSMC is set to kick off volume production of chips built using 5nm process technology in April, and has already seen the process capacity fully booked by clients, according to industry sources.”
Though Apple is expected to use the advanced 5nm process for its products, it’s not actually confirmed which SoC will be the first to use it. Bear in mind that the technology giant is rumored to release an updated iPad Pro family. Going by naming schemes, the upcoming tablet series is expected to be fueled by the A13X Bionic, which we assume will be made using the 5nm process.
However, in order for the A13X Bionic to be fabricated on the new node, the iPad Pro lineup will have to launch after April, as this is the month when TSMC is expected to kick off production. However, the new slates were earlier expected to launch during an Apple media event later this month of March but the event has reportedly been called off due to coronavirus concerns. If it’s not the A13X Bionic that will be made on the 5nm process, then it will most certainly be the A14 Bionic, which will be found in the iPhone 12 family that’s scheduled to arrive later this year.
According to a previous estimation, the A14 Bionic will be powerful enough to put an Intel 6-core 45W notebook CPU to shame, so we’re really excited to see what sort of advancements this new silicon will bring to the table. In addition to Apple, Huawei is also expected to use TSMC’s 5nm technology for its upcoming Kirin 1020. Though the name of the upcoming chipset isn’t finalized, it’s expected to deliver up to a 50 percent performance improvement over the Kirin 990, so that’s another addition to look forward to this year.
Hopefully, TSMC won’t run into any production setbacks as the rest of Apple’s partners are experiencing due to the coronavirus outbreak, so we’re optimistic that we’ll be seeing the A14 Bionic in action real soon.