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Ahead of iPhone 12 release, TSMC to begin A14 chip production in Q2

Published Jan 2nd, 2020 3:11PM EST
iPhone 12 Rumors
Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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As Apple continues to improve chip performance with each passing year, and arguably leaving competitors in the dust, we’re just a few months away from Apple rolling out its next-gen iPhone with a brand new A14 chip.

In light of that, a new report from Digitimes relays that Apple has once again tapped TSMC to be the sole supplier of its next-gen mobile chips. The report adds that TSMC will begin A14 production sometime during the second quarter of the year.

What’s more, the report notes that the A14 chips will be manufactured with a 5nm process, making it the first A-x series chip to have that distinction. As a point of reference, Apple’s A12 and A13 chips were manufactured with a 7nm process.

“As much as two thirds of TSMC’s available 5nm process capacity will be utilized to make the next-generation iPhone chips,” the report claims.

As to what the 5nm process means in terms of real-world usage, it points to the iPhone 12 offering up improved performance while also being more power-efficient than its predecessor. While the extent of these performance gains remains to be seen, Apple’s track record of boosting performance with new iPhone models has been unrivaled in recent years.

As to other iPhone 12 details, Apple’s next-gen iPhone will reportedly boast a larger battery and a welcome redesign that will be somewhat reminiscent of the iPhone 4 form factor. Aside from that, the iPhone 12 will feature improved camera technology and support for 5G.

Interestingly enough, there are rumblings that Apple in 2020 may release upwards of six distinct iPhone 12 models. According to Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup will look like this:

  • iPhone 12 4G with a 6.1-inch LCD screen and dual rear cameras
  • iPhone 12 Pro 4G with a 5.4-inch OLED screen and dual rear cameras
  • iPhone 12 Pro 5G with a 5.4-inch OLED display and dual rear cameras
  • iPhone 12 Pro Plus 4G with a 6.1-inch OLED display and a triple rear camera with Time-of-Flight 3D sensing capabilities
  • iPhone 12 Pro Plus 5G using a 6.1-inch OLED screen, triple camera setup, and ToF features
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G with a 6.1-inch OLED panel, the triple camera setup, and ToF.

On a somewhat related note, one analyst believes that Apple, starting in 2021, will start staggering iPhone releases. In other words, rather than launching all new iPhone models during the fall, Apple may start releasing new iPhone models during the first half of the year and then again during the September/October time frame.

The iPhone 12, meanwhile, will likely be available sometime in September of 2020.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.