TSMC Expected to Begin 'A14' 5nm Chip Production in Second Quarter
As expected, Apple chipmaker TSMC has secured orders for the "A14" processors to go in this year's iPhones and is expected to start manufacturing the chips in the second quarter, according to industry sources cited in a DigiTimes report.
The sources said Apple's 5G mmWave handsets to be released in 2020 are reportedly to each carry at least three AiP modules, which can also be packaged with FC_AiP (flip-chip) process in addition to InFo_AiP.
TSMC has been working hard to miniaturize its fabrication process to 5 nanometers – down from 7 nanometer fabrication seen in the A12 and A13 – with the aim of securing orders for Apple's processors in its iPhones for the fourth year running.
Previous successes in miniaturization have enabled the foundry to be Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series chips, 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, the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max, and the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11 series.
Last year it announced a $25 billion investment in the new 5nm node technology in a bid to remain the exclusive supplier of the processors.
Apple is expected to release five new iPhone models in 2020, including a so-called iPhone SE 2 with a 4.7-inch LCD display in the first half of 2020, followed by a higher-end all-OLED 5G lineup consisting of 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models in the second half of the year.