Apple could soon switch to the energy-saving 4-nanometer process for its iPhone processors.
The iPhone 12 still relies on a chip that is manufactured using the 5-nanometer process.
The A14 chip installed in the current iPhone 12 is manufactured at TSMC using the 5-nanometer process. Compared to the iPhone 11, which was still manufactured using the 7-nanometer process, the narrower structural width ensures greater efficiency and better performance. But Apple is apparently pushing for an even smaller structure width:
assume that Apple will switch to the 4-nanometer process in about two years. Apple is already the only TSMC customer who has chips manufactured using the 5-nanometer process. In addition to the A14 chip for iPhones, the M1 chip for Macbooks and Macs Mini is also manufactured with this narrow structural width. Actually, these capacities at TSMC should be kept free for Huawei until US sanctions significantly reduce sales of China smartphones.
According to Trendforce, Apple’s A16 chip should be manufactured using the 4-nanometer process at the latest. If Apple continues its development policy, it would be in 2022. Qualcomm also seems to be interested in TSMC’s 4-nanometer process for its Snapdragon chips. For the A15 chip expected next year, Apple is likely to rely on an improved 5-nanometer process from TSMC. This should then power the iPhone 13 and once again be more efficient and powerful than the current A14 chip in the iPhone 12 series.
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