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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Following a report indicating that production would begin ahead of schedule, longtime Apple supplier TSMC has now officially kicked off production of Apple's upcoming A15 chip for the iPhone 13 lineup, expected later on in the second half of this year, according to a new paywalled report from DigiTimes.


The A14 Bionic chip, which first got announced in the iPad Air and then made its way to the iPhone 12, was the first Apple processor to be made using the 5nm process. The A15 Bionic chip will continue to be based on the smaller process but instead use an enhanced version, which presumably will enable improved performance and improved power efficiency to match.

The iPhone 13 is expected to be announced as early as September, in line with previous years, following the delayed launch of the iPhone 12 due to the global health crisis. As lockdowns emerged last year, Apple and its suppliers had to cut back on production, forcing the annual release of the new iPhone to take place in October, one month later than usual. However, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that a similar situation is unlikely to happen again this year.

Alongside the faster performance, graphics, and improved power efficiency thanks to the A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone 13 lineup is rumored to include several other new features. The higher-end models of the lineup, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, are expected to include an LTPO display, which would enable a higher 120Hz refresh rate. The inclusion of LTPO displays also opens the door for the possibility of having an always-on display.

Article Link: Apple Supplier TSMC Reportedly Begins Production of A15 Bionic Chip for iPhone 13


macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
Given the ~100 day fab cycle time, that means finished SoC packages in late August. That's just in time to hand them over to Foxconn for mass assembly for a September launch. Not sure I'd call that ahead of schedule.


macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2012
If it is a „report“ from DigiTimes, then it is kicked off unofficially. Officially would be a statement from TSMC themselves.
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Interesting. I did wonder if Apple would try to shoehorn M1 into an iPhone (or at least a Pro iPhone model), thereby using economies of scale generated to propel it into other products (e.g. Apple TV and from there more of a presence in gaming). Whatever happens, I still think M1 is all about scale and how cheap Apple can get it in the first year or so of production).


macrumors newbie
May 11, 2021
I can see a 120Hz screen would be a great choice for this year's iPhone lineup


macrumors member
Mar 1, 2021
That’s really good to know that those chips aren’t getting production issues; this chip shortage situation is a bit “scary”.


macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2012
Valencia, Spain.
I really wish this new SoC is built using the latest ARM V9 architecture... That would lead to massive performance and power efficiency improvements, like the ones announced on the new Cortex-A710 and the new Cortex-A510.

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macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2015
I wonder if Apple will introduce the A15 bionic to the Ipad Air 5 first before the Iphone 13, like they did with the A14 Bionic.


macrumors member
Jun 26, 2020
I wonder how their mac/ ipad chip upgrade cycles would work now… historically the iPad Pro line only had alternate years a10x , a12x , m1 (a14x) etc so I wonder if there is a m2 this year based on a15 or next year based on a16 ( ie. m2 = a16x) and instead we only get a m1x this year ?‍♂️
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