Report: TSMC to begin making 5nm processors for Apple soon


Last week, DigiTimes reported the Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) is gearing up to produce A14 Bionic chips for Apple next month. The Big Tech firm will use the AMD-based high-performance component in its forthcoming 5G iPhones. Research Snipers revealed the corporation’s 14th generation mobile device would boast a 3.1 GHz processor.

TSMC A14 Chip Details

TSMC is utilizing a 5nm manufacturing process for the A14, which it began sampling last October. By virtue of its discrete footprint, the processor should be 20 percent smaller than its predecessor. As a result, its energy consumption should also be lower, providing users with a long battery life.

Research Snipers reports the A14 will feature a 3.1 GHz frequency stack, a first for an AMD-based mobile processor. The A13 that powers the iPhone 11 tops out at 2.7 GHz. The report cited rumors claiming the new chip has recieved high marks from hardware analysis blog Geekbench 5. The 5nm processor reportedly scored 1658 single-core points and 4612 multi-core points, up 25 and 33 percent from the previous generation, respectively.

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With that kind of processing power, the 5G series of iPhones will allow owners to seamlessly use multiple high-performance applications at the same time.

DigiTimes also said TSMC told its clients its 5 nm process is at capacity. In 2018, the manufacturer announced it would spend $25 billion to develop the ultra-dense node technology. The Taiwanese firm allocated an additional $2.5 billion to expand its 5nm fabrication output capability in January.

TSMC is reportedly set to manufacture 7 nm A13 chipsets for Apple’s iPhone SE successor.

Although Apple experienced production slowdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak, the firm’s manufacturing schedule is seemingly back on track. Luckily for Apple, TSMC’s Taiwanese-centered production capacity has protected it from the supply chain problems facing Chinese-based chipmakers.

Apple’s iPhone 5G Component Suppliers

Following tradition, Apple has yet to publicly confirm all the technical specifications for its fifth-generation mobile data enabled iPhones. However, The Burn-In has detailed the line’s features based on information sourced from industry insiders and the conglomerate’s suppliers.

Last April, Apple settled its long-running legal disputes with Qualcomm and signed a new partnership with the chipmaker. The San Diego, California-based manufacturer will now serve as the Big Tech firm’s sole mobile modem supplier. Nevertheless, the device maker has plans to bring its processor production in-house at some point. The corporation spent $1 billion to acquire Intel’s handset connectivity assets in July 2019.

The conglomerate also inked a new licensing deal with Imagination Technologies two months ago. The agreement will allow the Cupertino, California-based corporation to utilize the British firm’s GPUs in its handsets.

On March 13, The Burn-In reported Apple made a deal with Lumentum to utilize its 3D sensors for the 5G iPhone’s rear-facing cameras.

Though Apple is working to manage its chip production internally, the firm is still interested in maintaining relationships with innovative component manufacturers.


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