iPhone Models Launching in 2020 Reportedly Featuring 5nm Chips From TSMC – A14 Expected to Be Ultra-Efficient?
Almost all high-end phones that will be released this year will be fueled by 7nm chipsets. This marks a shift from the 10nm chips that were being used previously and will result in improved performance and better power efficiency. 7nm chipsets are expected to stick around for a while before smartphone OEMs are able to launch premium handsets bearing 5nm silicon.
However, according to the latest report, Apple’s sole supplier TSMC recently opened its first 5nm fabrication facility in Taiwan and said that its 5nm chips will be available starting 2020. Now, a new report says that the chip maker wants to ready its 5nm process in time for the 2020 iPhones so that it can remain Apple’s exclusive supplier.
Apple Reportedly Sticking to the 7nm FinFET Process While Its 2019 iPhone Lineup
According to DigiTimes, TSMC plans to invest $25 billion into the mass production of 5nm chips by 2020 and it seems those chips would fuel Apple’s 2020 iPhones. The company is working on its sub-7nm process technologies and says that it’s on schedule with its plan to switch to 5nm EUV process by 2020.
TSMC has been the exclusive supplier of A-series chipsets to Apple for the last three years. Over the years, the company has made significant advances in miniaturization. TSMC manufactured the 16nm A10 Fusion chip that fuels the iPhone 7 series, the 10nm A11 Bionic chip which underpins the iPhone 8 series and the iPhone X, and most recently, the 7nm FinET A12 Bionic that powers the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
The chip that would power this year’s iPhones, which may or may not be called the A13, will reportedly be a 7nm chip and made using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) that enables a more microscopic layering process. This means that Apple could be one of the first companies to use a 5nm chip, which would future iPhones support advanced AR and AI applications while also offering better battery life.
It goes without saying that a 5nm chip would also result in improved performance and thermal management. TSMC is expected to shed more light on its 5-nanometer facilities at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, so we’ll get to know more details in the future.