Apple processor supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has begun production on their next-generation 7-nanometer A12 chips, which will power the upcoming 2018 iPhone lineup.
The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. Apple and TSMC spokeswomen declined to comment.
More-capable chips help smartphones run apps faster and last longer before having to be recharged, key advantages in a competitive industry that’s struggling to grow.
TSMC announced in late April that its 7-nanometer process node had begun high-volume production. However, the company did not specify that the production would be Apple’s A12 processors.
The new process is expected to offer an approximately 40% power and area benefit over the 10-nanometer construction used in the A11 processors currently in use in Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X lineups.
All three of Apple’s much-rumored 2018 handsets will likely use the A12. Apple is expected to debut a 5.8-inch OLED successor to the iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch OLED-equipped “iPhone X Plus,” and a lower-cost 6.1-inch LCD iPhone.