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TSMC on Course to Secure 5nm Chip Orders for 2020 iPhones

Apple chipmaker TSMC will miniaturize its fabrication process to 5 nanometers in a bid to secure orders for Apple's processors in its 2020 iPhones, according to industry sources cited in a DigiTimes report.


TSMC recently confirmed that it plans to invest $25 billion towards volume production of 5nm chips by 2020, and today's report backs expectations that those chips are likely headed for Apple's smartphones next year.
Despite its dim business and industry outlook this year, TSMC claimed it is making progress in the development of sub-7nm process technologies with plans to move a newer 5nm EUV process to volume production by 2020 well on track.
Previous successes in miniaturization have seen TSMC remain Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series chips for the last three years, beginning with the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7/7 Plus, and continuing with the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X, and the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max.

The A10 Fusion chip is 16nm, the A11 Bionic is 10nm, and the A12 is a 7nm chip. The "A13" chip destined for this year's iPhones is also based on 7nm technology, but is expected to be the first chip to use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), which allows for a more microscopic chip layering process.

The Taiwanese manufacturer has been gradually shrinking the size of its dies for several years now, allowing it to offer packages that are widely considered to be superior to that of other chipmakers, including Samsung and Intel.

End users can expect Apple's mobile chip designs and TSMC's continued packaging advancements to improve performance, battery life, and thermal management in future iPhones.



Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago

Can you imagine if every team at Apple was this reliable and consistent? One day they are going to come to work after releasing the 1nm chip and will actually be motivated to make it better lol

Can you imagine Macs running on these chips, having reliable and consistent updates just like iPhones? I don't know why everyone was crying foul at that rumor. I can't wait for that day, personally.
Rating: 11 Votes
13 weeks ago
Are these going into Macs as well? They're going to be absolute beasts at 5nm compared to whatever Intel puts out. Probably at least 6500 per core on Geekbench.
Rating: 8 Votes
13 weeks ago
I don’t know if it is lower screen resolution combined with the power of the A12, but my XR absolutely screams through everything. It is so fast, I really can’t imagine apps opening faster, gestures getting any faster. But they will I’m sure. The A12 is going to be comfortably fast for several years.
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
Can you imagine if every team at Apple was this reliable and consistent? One day they are going to come to work after releasing the 1nm chip and will actually be motivated to make it better lol
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
Another reason to hold on til 2020 before buying an iphone.
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
Slow down, give competitors time to get close, at least.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
The moment you realise that most people don't benefit or need any more CPU power. There are a lot of ways the iPhone can be improved (as can any phone), I don't think people are craving for more performance though.

Tired of hearing every year of how the brand "new" phone has 40% more CPU/GPU power. You could have lowered it by 20% and I wouldn't have been able to tell, that is the difference.

- Improve Siri
- Make it so that the camera bump no longer exists, it should be flush with the phone
- Innovative ways to hide the notch
- Greatly improve battery life
- USB-C port
- Maybe the headphone jack back?

But a 5nm chip? Don't care.
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago
Meanwhile intel will finally be able to mass produce 10nm CPUs in 2019 and was stuck on 14nm since 2015.... definitely still 10nm in 2020 and likely 2021 too.
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago

Slow down, give competitors time to get close, at least.

No. Run circles around them and show everyone why Apple is the most valuable company there is!
Rating: 5 Votes
13 weeks ago

Everybody hypothetically spends Apple’s money, so I’m going to throw my hat in:
This is the company they should purchase.
No other company going forward will be so integral to Apple’s plans or success than the one manufacturing it’s chips. Which, in the not so distant future, could be for all of its devices.
-Of course, I realize it’s a more complex issue than what I laid out (spreading risk, geopolitics, etc) than just spending imaginary $.

Not going to happen and investors wouldn’t want it.

TSMC is a gigantic, capital intensive business.

At current prices, Apple would likely need to offer $300B to get it, making it too large for even Apple.

Plus, Apple doesn’t want to buy a capital intensive business when their current arrangement has worked beautifully.
Rating: 4 Votes

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