Apple Said To Use TSMC's 4nm Process For 'A16' Processor

The A14 Bionic on the iPhone 12 models is the first smartphone chip built with a 5nm process, but a report out today suggests that Apple and TSMC are already developing more advanced manufacturing processes.

Taiwanese market research firm TrendForce reported today that Apple plans to utilize TSMC's next-generation 5nm+ process for the A15 chip on iPhones that will be released in 2021. 5nm+ is an upgraded version of the 5nm process, which can provide better energy efficiency and performance.

It is expected that A16 chips on the iPhone in 2022 will be built upon a 4nm process to further improve performance, energy efficiency, and transistor density. 
Looking ahead to 2021, in addition to Apple’s 5nm+ wafer input for the A15 Bionic SoC, trial production will also kick off for a small batch of AMD 5nm Zen 4 CPUs. These products will help maintain TSMC’s 5nm capacity utilization rate at an 85-90% range next year.


Furthermore, based on current data, Apple is highly likely to continue manufacturing its A16 SoCs with the 4nm process technology (a process shrink of the 5nm node).
A Mac equipped with a 5nm process M1 chip has just been released. Apple’s future Mac chips will also use the latest process technology. For example, M1X or M2 may use 5nm+ and 4nm processes.

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