TSMC reportedly starting production of 5nm A14 iPhone chips in Q2 of 2020

TSMC HQ (Image credit: 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.

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.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.