TSMC HQSource: TSMC

What you need to know

  • TSMC looks like it will once again supply chips for iPhones.
  • It will reportedly begin making A14 chips in Q2.
  • It will be manufactured using the new 5nm process.

Long-time Apple chip partner TSMC will reportedly begin manufacturing chips for Apple's 2020 iPhones in the second quarter of the year. Those chips will be Apple's A14 system-on-chip (SoC) and will be manufactured using a new 5-nanometer process.

This will be the first 5nm chips to land in an iPhone with the previous A12 and A13 chips using the previous 7nm process. The move should allow for improved temperature regulation and power usage – two things that are vital in mobile devices.

This new DigiTimes report (via 9to5Mac) makes plenty of sense given the usual timescale for iPhone announcements. If Apple follows its previous release cadence we can expect it to announce its new flagship phones in September, with a release in the same month. That would mean production would need to be well underway by then in order to meet the usual high demand that comes with a new iPhone launch.

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The move to a 5nm process shouldn't be a surprise, either. We've been hearing of TSMC's move to 5nm for months now and Apple will always want to be at the bleeding edge of processor performance and power efficiency. And right now, that means 5nm.