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.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Tag: TSMC

Top Rated Comments

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3 weeks ago


Because intel makes real chips, not baby mobile chip crap like Apple. Silly comparison.

The last time I checked these baby mobile chips are performing as fast as those real chips :rolleyes:

What's silly is quick dismissiveness of apple's innovation
Rating: 41 Votes
3 weeks ago
5nm - wow, and Intel can't get to 10mn :oops:
Rating: 18 Votes
3 weeks ago


Because intel makes real chips, not baby mobile chip crap like Apple. Silly comparison.

Childish "baby" comment.
Rating: 12 Votes
3 weeks ago


5nm - wow, and Intel can't get to 10mn :oops:


Can’t directly compare (Intel 10nm is about the same as TSMC 7nm), but yeah, TSMC seems to be almost a generation ahead.


Because intel makes real chips, not baby mobile chip crap like Apple. Silly comparison.

A fab is a fab. AMD uses TSMC as a fab. The same factory that makes “baby mobile chip crap” at 5nm is set to make Ryzens.

Face it - Intel is about a generation behind.
Rating: 11 Votes
3 weeks ago


5nm - wow, and Intel can't get to 10mn :oops:

There is some hope that when those 5 nm A14 chips ship in iPhones in September, Intel might also have managed to ship 10 nm chips in large quantities. Moreover, Intel and TSMC define the size of the process node differently (it depends on which part of, eg, a transitor you measure). Intel's 10 nm process is much closer to TSMC's 7 nm process than to TSMC's 10 nm process.

That still means that Intel is about one process node step behind.
Rating: 11 Votes
3 weeks ago
For reference, a silicon atom is 0.2 nanometers across which means that the thickness here is 25 silicon atoms. How much further can we go?
Rating: 8 Votes
3 weeks ago


Apple designs chips they don't make them so the credit for 5nm goes to the foundries like TSMC.

[URL unfurl="true"]https://wikipedia.org/wiki/7_nanometer[/URL]

What's really silly is assume a single stat tells the whole story. Transistor density is what matters most. Intel's 10nm x86 is twice as dense as 10nm ARM & still more than 7nm ARM. While chip benchmarking is like dick measuring as it doesn't indicate actual performance in real world tasks.


I wouldn’t say density matters most, unless you are talking about SRAM structures like caches. For logic, we intentionally space devices out (for bypass cap, IR drop issues, thermal issues, DFM issues, etc). And the last time I checked the design rules, Intel’s 10nm has almost identical minimum spacing rules to the latest node from TSMC on 7nm. In my entire career designing CPUs I can’t think of a single time I used a minimum sized transistor, so in the real world the fact that an Intel minimum size transistor is a tad bit smaller than a TSMC minimum size transistor matters not one iota.
Rating: 6 Votes
3 weeks ago
For scale, a single rhinovirus (one of the smallest types of virus) has a diameter of 30nm. Amazing.
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Because intel makes real chips, not baby mobile chip crap like Apple. Silly comparison.

TSMC is currently manufacturing 7nm x64 chips for AMD that are eating Intel's lunch.
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What nm is Qualcomm even at with snapdragon? I’ve never heard anyone even mention 5nm before. I thought we were all still mesmerized by achieving 7nm (the “impossible”)

Qualcomm doesn't fab chips.
Rating: 5 Votes
3 weeks ago
Wow, 5nm is just nuts!

an interesting future awaits when Apple puts out the first Macs with A-series chips (likely not the same ones as go into the phones, since the power and thermal envelope are so much higher for a Mac than an iPhone).
Rating: 5 Votes
3 weeks ago
I don’t understand why many people here want Apple to use Ax chips in Macs because of Intel. AMD Ryzen is also a choice.
Rating: 4 Votes

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