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TSMC on Course to Secure 5nm Chip Orders for 2020 iPhones

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Apple chipmaker TSMC will miniaturize its fabrication process to 5 nanometers in a bid to secure orders for Apple's processors in its 2020 iPhones, according to industry sources cited in a DigiTimes report.


TSMC recently confirmed that it plans to invest $25 billion towards volume production of 5nm chips by 2020, and today's report backs expectations that those chips are likely headed for Apple's smartphones next year.
Despite its dim business and industry outlook this year, TSMC claimed it is making progress in the development of sub-7nm process technologies with plans to move a newer 5nm EUV process to volume production by 2020 well on track.
Previous successes in miniaturization have seen TSMC remain Apple's exclusive supplier of A-series chips for the last three years, beginning with the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7/7 Plus, and continuing with the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X, and the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XR/XS/XS Max.

The A10 Fusion chip is 16nm, the A11 Bionic is 10nm, and the A12 is a 7nm chip. The "A13" chip destined for this year's iPhones is also based on 7nm technology, but is expected to be the first chip to use extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV), which allows for a more microscopic chip layering process.

The Taiwanese manufacturer has been gradually shrinking the size of its dies for several years now, allowing it to offer packages that are widely considered to be superior to that of other chipmakers, including Samsung and Intel.

End users can expect Apple's mobile chip designs and TSMC's continued packaging advancements to improve performance, battery life, and thermal management in future iPhones.

Article Link: TSMC on Course to Secure 5nm Chip Orders for 2020 iPhones
 
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fokmik

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I really hope in 2020 A14 5nm to come i to 12” Macbook to see how well it works,how powerful is conpared to previous 5w intel and how much battery can deliver,probably from 9-10h to 13-14h
 
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Heineken

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Can you imagine if every team at Apple was this reliable and consistent? One day they are going to come to work after releasing the 1nm chip and will actually be motivated to make it better lol
1nm as far as I know is not possible. 2nm maybe, but 5nm is already approaching a point of diminishing returns.
 
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GuruZac

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I don’t know if it is lower screen resolution combined with the power of the A12, but my XR absolutely screams through everything. It is so fast, I really can’t imagine apps opening faster, gestures getting any faster. But they will I’m sure. The A12 is going to be comfortably fast for several years.
 
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Return Zero

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Can you imagine if every team at Apple was this reliable and consistent? One day they are going to come to work after releasing the 1nm chip and will actually be motivated to make it better lol
Can you imagine Macs running on these chips, having reliable and consistent updates just like iPhones? I don't know why everyone was crying foul at that rumor. I can't wait for that day, personally.
 
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cmaier

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Can you imagine if every team at Apple was this reliable and consistent? One day they are going to come to work after releasing the 1nm chip and will actually be motivated to make it better lol
Nothing magic about me 1nm. These things used to be measured in microns.
 
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Sasparilla

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this is awesome to see. Apple has done so well with its internal chip development and using TSMC for fab sourcing. Amazing to have watched Intel just fall by the wayside on die size implementation. If mfr's start using TSMC Arm's in windows PC's in larger numbers it'll be game over for Intel.
 
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cmaier

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It will be interesting to see what they do to get around the fact that a single silicon atom is 0.2nm!
Work harder on shrinking interconnect thickness and width to reduce impedance, I suppose. Better low-k dielectrics. Improve transistor architecture to reduce leakage. Material engineering to play with the band diagrams - III-V (InP or GaAs HBT?) After that you’ve got no choice but to radically change architecture.
 
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Heineken

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Work harder on shrinking interconnect thickness and width to reduce impedance, I suppose. Better low-k dielectrics. Improve transistor architecture to reduce leakage. Material engineering to play with the band diagrams - III-V (InP or GaAs HBT?) After that you’ve got no choice but to radically change architecture.
Graphene?
 
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cmaier

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Graphene?
Perhaps. Yet to be seen how practical that is. Whereas we already know that you can get tremendous improvements in toggle frequency using GaAs and the like if you are willing to pay the price is static current and lateral dimensions.

Market pressure will force folks to figure it out. The entire time I was designing CPUs everyone said we were at some critical physics-based dead end.
 
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jhulgan

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Everybody hypothetically spends Apple’s money, so I’m going to throw my hat in:
This is the company they should purchase.
No other company going forward will be so integral to Apple’s plans or success than the one manufacturing it’s chips. Which, in the not so distant future, could be for all of its devices.
-Of course, I realize it’s a more complex issue than what I laid out (spreading risk, geopolitics, etc) than just spending imaginary $.
 
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guzhogi

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Wherever my feet take me…
I'm still waiting for at least duotronic, if not isolinear computing. Maybe throw in some bio-neural gel packs.

Everybody hypothetically spends Apple’s money, so I’m going to throw my hat in:
This is the company they should purchase.
No other company going forward will be so integral to Apple’s plans or success than the one manufacturing it’s chips. Which, in the not so distant future, could be for all of its devices.
-Of course, I realize it’s a more complex issue than what I laid out (spreading risk, geopolitics, etc) than just spending imaginary $.

I'm sure the costs in not just buying TSMC but running it would be very prohibitive. However, I do see some benefits like some cost saving keeping it in house, easier to keep details secret, etc.
 
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cmaier

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Jul 25, 2007
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Everybody hypothetically spends Apple’s money, so I’m going to throw my hat in:
This is the company they should purchase.
No other company going forward will be so integral to Apple’s plans or success than the one manufacturing it’s chips. Which, in the not so distant future, could be for all of its devices.
-Of course, I realize it’s a more complex issue than what I laid out (spreading risk, geopolitics, etc) than just spending imaginary $.

The risk thing is key. When tsmc falls down, they can switch to global foundries or Samsung or probably even use intel as their fab if they pay enough money. Hard to do that if they own their own fab.
 
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