tech2 News StaffMay 23, 2018 14:14:17 IST
Looks like Apple's chipmaking partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has begun the production of the 7 nm chips that will make their debut on the next generation iPhone.
According to a report in Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter have said that the mass production of the next-gen processors has begun. The processor which will be called the A12 will be based on the 7 nm process node. The current gen Apple iPhones (iPhone 8/8 Plus/X) with the A11 Bionic chips use a 10 nm process node.
Both Apple and TSMC have declined to comment on the matter.
The 7 nm process node should help Apple achieve improvements in battery life, get more performance out of apps, among other things. While TSMC had started producing 7 nm chips in April, there was no mention of any specific partner.
Apple will not be the only company working on 7 nm chips, but it definitely wants to be the first one with a production model ready. Samsung Electronics, which makes its own Exynos chipsets as well as makes chips for Qualcomm, had already committed to partnering with Qualcomm to produce 7 nm chips with support for 5G networks.
The two companies will expand their decade-long cooperation into Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) lithography process technology, including the manufacture of future Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets using Samsung's 7-nanometre Low Power Plus (LPP) EUV process technology, said the South Korean tech giant.
Samsung and Qualcomm have been maintaining close ties through foundry business in the production of 10 nm and 14 nm technologies.
Huawei which makes its own Kirin chipsets, is another competitor.
According to Bloomberg, TSMC wants to spend over $10 bn to expand its Hsinchu headquarters facility which will have an in-house R&D centre as well.
Apple is rumoured to be working on releasing three smartphone models later this year. Former KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had predicted back in November 2017 that the company would be releasing three iPhone X style smartphones.
According to Kuo, apart from the two devices with OLED screens, there will also be a cheaper device with the iPhone X form factor, but with an LCD display. The devices with OLED displays are predicted to have 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch screens, while the device with the TFT LCD display is predicted to have a 6.1-inch screen. All three devices will have the notch and the TrueDepth camera system to support FaceID, according to a report in MacRumours. The predictions are in line with previous reports from industry trackers that Apple's FaceID system would be available on cheaper devices that Apple would launch next year.
We don't know which of these phones will get the new 7 nm chipset.