Apple’s A-Series chipmaking partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is readying for the production of the “A14” chip for the 2020 iPhone lineup. The firm is expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2020.
A report by Digitimes says as much as two-thirds of TSMC’s available 5nm process capacity will be utilized to make the next-generation iPhone chips.
The final design of the 5-nanometer chip was approved in April 2019. The chips using the 5-nanometer EUV process should offer a 1.8X logic density improvement and 15% speed gain on ARM Cortex-A72 cores over the 7-nanometer process.
TSMC claims the A14 boasts a better SRAM and analog area reduction thanks to the architecture change, and will also benefit from process simplification via the use of EUV lithography.
Extreme ultraviolet, or EUV, technology can help make some of the chip fabrication process much cheaper compared to existing argon fluoride (ArF) immersion techniques.
The Digitimes report says TSMC will continue to be the sole manufacturer for the chip, with up to two-thirds of the firm’s available 5nm process capacity to be used to make next-generation iPhone chips.
In mid-April, TSMC reported a 32% drop in net profit to $2 billion for Q1 2019. That was the company’s lowest profit since 2011. While some of the drop in profits can be attributed to the global smartphone market slowdown, other factors contributed. A chemical accident led to lost production in February, and a cryptocurrency slowdown cut demand for GPUs.