TSMC ready to make super speedy CPUs for 2020 iPhone

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Apple A14 processor Expect great things from the Apple A14 processor.
CGI: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The CFO of TSMC says her company will begin volume production of 5nm chips in the first half of 2020. This Taiwanese foundry manufactures all Apple’s processors, and its move to 5nm is right on time for this cutting-edge process to be used for the A14 CPUs that will go into next years iPhone and iPad models.

Analysts have previously predicted that TSMC will have perfected its 5nm process by next year, but now CFO Lora Ho made it official at her company’s shareholders meeting, according to DigiTimes.

Ho didn’t specifically say Apple is on-board with this new tech, but the two companies have worked together since the earliest days of the iPhone. TSMC has been able to supply Apple with better chips every single year.

This would seem to indicate the 2020 iPhone will offer a really significant CPU speed increase over current models. It is also expected to be the first iOS handset with 5G, another type of speed improvement.

5mn is better than 7nm

Much of TSMC’s research and development budget goes into shrinking the distance between processor components. Packing these into less space means faster performance and less wasted heat, saving power.

The Apple A12 Bionic chip used in the 2018 iPhone XS, XS Max and XR was the first in this series with just 7nm between components.

The 2019 A13, reportedly using an improved version of the 7nm process, is in production and headed for the iPhone 11. This chip will bring significant improvements to multi-core and graphics performance, according to a recent leak.

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