New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Supplier TSMC Begins Production on Processors Destined for 2018 iPhones

Apple supplier TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has started production on the next-generation 7-nanometer A12 chips that will be used in the 2018 iPhone lineup, reports Bloomberg.

TSMC in late April announced that its 7-nanometer process node has entered into high volume manufacturing, but did not specify that it was working on the Apple A12 processors set to be built into the iPhones that are expected in September.


The new 7-nanometer chips will offer approximately 40 percent power and area benefit over the 10-nanometer process used for the A11 processors in the 2017 iPhones. As Bloomberg says, the chips will be smaller, faster, and more efficient.

TSMC is believed to be the sole partner Apple is working with on the A12 chip. TSMC was also Apple's only supplier for the A11 chips in the iPhone X, 8, and 8 Plus.

All three of Apple's 2018 iPhones are expected to adopt the A12 chips that are currently in development. Rumors suggest Apple is working on a second-generation 5.8-inch OLED iPhone that's a successor to the iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch OLED iPhone that can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus," and a lower-cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.

Along with A12 chips, all three are expected to include a TrueDepth camera system for Face ID capabilities and an edge-to-edge design with minimal bezels and no Home button.

Related Roundup: 2018 iPhones


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

4 weeks ago
Apple is so far ahead of the industry with their mobile CPUs that it's not even close. They have a 24 month lead.
Rating: 14 Votes
4 weeks ago

Will it be faster than A11?


No. I think we will be seeing a regression in processing speed. /s
Rating: 8 Votes
4 weeks ago
What's really cool is TMSC and GF 7nm surpasses Intel 14nm++ and Is actually slightly better than Intel's 10nm node which has been delayed for an additional 18 months! :eek:

SOURCE: https://www.semiwiki.com/forum/content/7191-iedm-2017-intel-versus-globalfoundries-leading-edge.html

Going forward, Apple, AMD, and Nvidia are going to have the process node advantage over Intel. This means two things:

1. Apple might start looking at AMD chips very seriously now, since Thunderbolt Support exists on Ryzen now, and AMD is pulling ahead
2. Apple might opt for a semi custom solution from AMD, since AMD does semi custom work.
3. Apple might skip AMD chips in favor of their own CPU's for mac desktops and laptops.
Rating: 8 Votes
4 weeks ago

Don't you mean TSMC has the lead; Apple isn't making anything; you can say they designed them but if the can't make them those designs go unused.


it's the combination of both Apple and TSMC.

but to be honest: no one really notices a difference in real world usage anymore. most chips are more than fast enough for smartphone usage these days...
but less power usage is always nice.
Rating: 5 Votes
4 weeks ago

<snip>

I would like to see a Mac based entirely on the ARM Apple designs. There are a few features that the iPad has that the Mac could benefit from.

1. I'd like to be able to leave the Mac on at all times, just like the iPad remains on. I never turn it off. Even if I leave it behind all day, it's still on. Once the screen goes dark it uses almost zero power. I love that. And I love how it still alerts me to new messages while always on. Bring that to the Mac.


Not sure, what you are talking about. I always put my Macs to Suspend and 'leave them on' over days and even weeks. Suspend works very well on MacOS. I only ever reboot when there is an update waiting to be installed.

6:01 up 27 days, 14:10, 7 users, load averages: 1,16 1,27 1,49

I could grock an AMD-based Mac, but loathe a move to ARM. My fear is, that Apple would be tempted to cripple MacOS beyond usable by simultaneously eliminating 3rd party app support and going App Store only.
If MacOS loses x86-support and can not run things like Homebrew, Virtualbox etc. a lot of people would be forced to leave the system, at least in the education market, the technical and science domain.
Myself included...
Rating: 4 Votes
4 weeks ago
Is there a news article? I can't stop staring at that awesome tsmc logo.
Rating: 4 Votes
4 weeks ago
Finally. The A11 is unbearably slow.

/s
Rating: 3 Votes
4 weeks ago

I'd say that the CPU speed is required for upcoming AR/VR solutions, AI and neural processing that enables better facial recognition, intelligent image recognition, etc.

Speed is an enabler.


All great points. Even with the A11 Bionic processor, that’s also partially responsible for the neutral engine and the biometric measures for Face ID. I think when others think of processor, they just think of speed only, now we are venturing on where the processor is also making Face ID work together.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago

No. Apple does not have their own silicon foundry, which is needed to manufacture chips.

Yes, yes they do. It’s a small one for pre-production, but they do.
Rating: 2 Votes
4 weeks ago

Even if that was remotely true,what’s the point? It hardly matters these days since you can hardly tell on most smartphones. Apple never exploit it; every year a new chip and a new IOS and basically everything is just about the same.


I'd say that the CPU speed is required for upcoming AR/VR solutions, AI and neural processing that enables better facial recognition, intelligent image recognition, etc.

Speed is an enabler.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]