Apple chip partner TSMC to start 5nm 'A14' production in mid-2020

Posted:
in General Discussion
TSMC is ready to begin manufacturing the "A14" chip intended for the late 2020 iPhone lineup starting in the second quarter of 2020.




The design infrastructure of the 5-nanometer chip was finalized in April 2019. Chips using the 5-nanometer EUV process stand to offer a 1.8-times logic density improvement and 15-percent speed gain on ARM Cortex-A72 cores over the 7-nanometer process.

TSMC also claims there is a better SRAM and analog area reduction by the architecture change, as well as benefiting from process simplification via the use of EUV lithography. Should the report be correct, this is consistent with chip production start in previous years for a fall iPhone release.

Extreme ultraviolet, or EUV, technology is an important addition to processor production, as it can make part of the process much cheaper compared to existing argon fluoride (ArF) immersion techniques. While ArF may require up to four expensive multi-patterning masks to create a layer, the use of ultraviolet lasers for chip etching requires just one mask.

TSMC will continue to be the sole manufacturer for the new chips, according to Digitimes. As much as two thirds of TSMC's available 5nm process capacity will be used to make next-generation iPhone chips.

The chips will likely be used in the next generation of Apple's iPhones, including the iPhone 12 and the rumored "iPhone SE 2."

In mid-April, TSMC posted a 32 percent drop in net profit to $2 billion for the first calendar quarter of 2019 -- the lowest since 2011.

While some of the profit decrease was caused by the global smartphone market slowdown, other factors were also at play. A chemical accident caused a loss of production in February, and the cryptocurrency slowdown cut back demand for chips from GPU manufacturers.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,996member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 61
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,669member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Yup, they should just stop pushing the envelope, sit back and coast. 

    🙄

    tmayWgkruegerStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 61
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    George, There is no limit. I don't want to pick on you but if everyone had that type of attitude we would still be riding horse and carriages on dirt roads - why would you want to travel any faster? There's no possibility people could ever fly from one place to another, let alone to the moon or Mars! 99% of users are consumers - not creators and inventors. They don't dream, they don't create, they stay in their comfort zone.

    This is where people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are needed, visionaries and dreamers, those that push the envelope, that ignore the 99%, and don't give a shxt about what others think of them. Bill Gates once said who will ever need more than 640K in a personal computer - we all know he is a fool (and buddy of Jeffrey Epstein). Microsoft has held back technology innovation for decades, Intel as well. If you want to hear a visionary and futurist speak about really cool, unbelievable stuff then watch interviews with Ray Kurzweil -- you will begin to feel that tech is not moving fast enough.
    danhLoneStar88sweetheart777watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 61
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,444member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Where's this speed limit coming from?

    Plus, it's not all about speed.  Power performance, size, interfaces, all of them make for a better product.
    tmayStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 61
    crowley said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Where's this speed limit coming from?

    Plus, it's not all about speed.  Power performance, size, interfaces, all of them make for a better product.

    Looks like the other 2 commenters misunderstood GeorgeBMac's post and you seem to have asked the right question. The speed limit that George talks about is coming from the software which is being run on the hardware. The software has NOT developed as much as hardware in the last 10 years, to the point where further development in hardware looks redundant, at least in the short term.


    I am just guessing here, may be George can clarify if my assumption is correct.

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 61
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,006member
    crowley said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Where's this speed limit coming from?

    Plus, it's not all about speed.  Power performance, size, interfaces, all of them make for a better product.

    Looks like the other 2 commenters misunderstood GeorgeBMac's post and you seem to have asked the right question. The speed limit that George talks about is coming from the software which is being run on the hardware. The software has NOT developed as much as hardware in the last 10 years, to the point where further development in hardware looks redundant, at least in the short term.


    I am just guessing here, may be George can clarify if my assumption is correct.

    I don't think that is what he is stating at all, but if he is, he's forgetting about the benefits of a more powerful SoC for imaging, video, AR/VR, ML, and AI, not to mention Siri, and especially lower power requirements as a tradeoff to an incrementally larger battery.

    More to the point, Apple benefits from lower die costs for the A14 SoC, and also from not having to reengineer the SE even every other year, but maybe every three years, and it would still be performant enough for the target market.
    StrangeDaysbageljoeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 61
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 597member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Faster CPUs benefit everyone because faster generally means tasks finish in less time saving battery. The way modern SOCs work is they shut off parts of the SOC that are idle. The quicker you get to idle, the better for battery life. So older devices are probably plenty fast for most users but most users would prefer the long battery life of the iPhone 11 over the iPhone 7. 
    tmaymuthuk_vanalingamStrangeDayspscooter63minicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 61
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,029member
    jdb8167 said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Faster CPUs benefit everyone because faster generally means tasks finish in less time saving battery. The way modern SOCs work is they shut off parts of the SOC that are idle. The quicker you get to idle, the better for battery life. So older devices are probably plenty fast for most users but most users would prefer the long battery life of the iPhone 11 over the iPhone 7. 
    I've tried addressing that in the past when people say "the iPhone needs a bigger battery!" when what they really want is more battery life.
    jdb8167tmaymuthuk_vanalingamStrangeDayspscooter63bageljoeywatto_cobrachabig
  • Reply 9 of 61
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 793member
    So has there been any indication that the production of an A13X has started? That would be the expected chip for the next iPad Pro, but an A14X would be nicer.

    As someone who values the iPad Pro more than the iPhone, I would like to see the enhanced CPU (x) of the top iPad Pro be in line with the Phones.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 61
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Bad analogy. Can’t compare CPUs to cars. Everybody benefits from improvements in CPUs (higher efficiency, increased battery life, etc), whereas nobody benefits from fast cars except for the “look at me” crowd and those who enjoy racing (whether legal or not).
  • Reply 11 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,057member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Wuuut? So because some products, which don’t need cutting edge, are using older chips, Apple should stop developing and using their higher performance chips in other products? Is that honestly what you’re suggesting?
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 61
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,057member

    sjworld said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Bad analogy. Can’t compare CPUs to cars. Everybody benefits from improvements in CPUs (higher efficiency, increased battery life, etc), whereas nobody benefits from fast cars except for the “look at me” crowd and those who enjoy racing (whether legal or not).
    Actually you can use the analogy. In order to develop high performing autos, new techniques and technology are developed, which, yes, make their way back down to consumer grade vehicles. There was even a car commercial telling this very story years ago. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 61
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 338member
    I am more concerned about 5nm A14 from TSMC. What will happen next? Or we'll keep pushing nanotechnology 4nm, 3nm, 2nm, 1nm, there is not going to be 0nm there has to be completely new approach! Any one has a clue in what is that new technology? 
  • Reply 14 of 61
    Fatman said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    George, There is no limit. I don't want to pick on you but if everyone had that type of attitude we would still be riding horse and carriages on dirt roads - why would you want to travel any faster? There's no possibility people could ever fly from one place to another, let alone to the moon or Mars! 99% of users are consumers - not creators and inventors. They don't dream, they don't create, they stay in their comfort zone.

    This is where people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are needed, visionaries and dreamers, those that push the envelope, that ignore the 99%, and don't give a shxt about what others think of them. Bill Gates once said who will ever need more than 640K in a personal computer - we all know he is a fool (and buddy of Jeffrey Epstein). Microsoft has held back technology innovation for decades, Intel as well. If you want to hear a visionary and futurist speak about really cool, unbelievable stuff then watch interviews with Ray Kurzweil -- you will begin to feel that tech is not moving fast enough.
    Horses smell.  We should all go barefoot!
    But you go first, I don’t want to step in anything.
    edited January 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,346member
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    First off there is no speed limit, todays SoC simply can not go fast enough!   

    Also the chips simply don’t work fine for most users.  Performance is still lacking in many regimes. 

    However the user isn’t the real issue here, Apple needs far more powerful chips to deliver the breadth of their imaginations.  We really need to see a massive expansion in AI supporting hardware as AI like support as imagined in Siri really needs to run locally.  Even video editing is hampered on ARM based hardware due to the lack of cores.  

    So no current tech isn’t good enough.  
  • Reply 16 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,346member
    crowley said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Where's this speed limit coming from?

    Plus, it's not all about speed.  Power performance, size, interfaces, all of them make for a better product.

    Looks like the other 2 commenters misunderstood GeorgeBMac's post and you seem to have asked the right question. The speed limit that George talks about is coming from the software which is being run on the hardware. The software has NOT developed as much as hardware in the last 10 years, to the point where further development in hardware looks redundant, at least in the short term.


    I am just guessing here, may be George can clarify if my assumption is correct.

    Well if that is what George meant he is grossly out of touch with reality.   Software on Apples iOS devices has suffered for years from the lack of performance and frankly RAM.    In some cases we would easily use up a 4X increase in RAM and CPU cores. 

       Frankly I can’t understand the mind that says iOS devices are good enough!!    Alpine needs to consider is how well a high performance computer a handle user tasks compared to say an iPad.  The difference is stark.  
  • Reply 17 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,346member
    Soli said:
    jdb8167 said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Faster CPUs benefit everyone because faster generally means tasks finish in less time saving battery. The way modern SOCs work is they shut off parts of the SOC that are idle. The quicker you get to idle, the better for battery life. So older devices are probably plenty fast for most users but most users would prefer the long battery life of the iPhone 11 over the iPhone 7. 
    I've tried addressing that in the past when people say "the iPhone needs a bigger battery!" when what they really want is more battery life.
    The problem is it isn’t as simple as jdb implies.   Further longer battery life is important  but at some point you simply need a bigger battery.   There is no free lunch, each process shrink saves power but it also means more power usage from additional features.  For example more cores get more work done in a given time but the actual power used to do that is often more.    It comes down to context and what is actually being done, faster doesn’t always mean less power.  

    This is fairly easy to see in large core count machines.  Highly threaded work loads can get done fast but you are talking high power chips (watts) at a given process node.  
  • Reply 18 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,346member
    davgreg said:
    So has there been any indication that the production of an A13X has started? That would be the expected chip for the next iPad Pro, but an A14X would be nicer.

    As someone who values the iPad Pro more than the iPhone, I would like to see the enhanced CPU (x) of the top iPad Pro be in line with the Phones.
    That is a good question!   It might be worth it for Apple to wait for A14X in the iPad.   This especially if features are added to the A14 to enable it or laptop usage.    We might even see a greater split between iPhone chips and pad/laptop chips.  In the end I really see Apple having no choice if the rumored ARM based laptops are true.  Laptops simply have different I/O and RAM needs compared to a cell phone and those needs could be shared in an iPad.    
  • Reply 19 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,346member
    sergioz said:
    I am more concerned about 5nm A14 from TSMC. What will happen next? Or we'll keep pushing nanotechnology 4nm, 3nm, 2nm, 1nm, there is not going to be 0nm there has to be completely new approach! Any one has a clue in what is that new technology? 
    Well several things will likely happen.  

    First multi chip modules will likely be more common.   The A series already does this in some cases and AMD has had fantastic success with Chiplets.  Note in one case stuff gets stacked in another stuff gets spread across a carrier.  

    Second 3D design will likely be implemented.    This is where far more layers are used on a chip to effectively Build logic in 3D.   

    Third far faster replacements for silicon will likely happen.  Lots of research going on in this area right now.    In any event imagine a 10 or even a 100 GHz processor core running at room temperature.  

    There is a lot of research into optics and quantum tech that might actually happen some day.    This goes off the deep end but we have about a decade of shrinks left so there is time.  

    The only real negative is that some of this tech ups costs significantly.  Still I don’t see anything to be concerned about this decade and maybe even the next.  
    sergioz
  • Reply 20 of 61
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,029member
    wizard69 said:
    Soli said:
    jdb8167 said:
    So, what is the benefit of a 200+mph car if the speed limit is 65?

    Isn't Apple still installing the A10 (from September, 2016) in new products today in 2020?   Don't they work (for 95% of users) just fine?
    Faster CPUs benefit everyone because faster generally means tasks finish in less time saving battery. The way modern SOCs work is they shut off parts of the SOC that are idle. The quicker you get to idle, the better for battery life. So older devices are probably plenty fast for most users but most users would prefer the long battery life of the iPhone 11 over the iPhone 7. 
    I've tried addressing that in the past when people say "the iPhone needs a bigger battery!" when what they really want is more battery life.
    The problem is it isn’t as simple as jdb implies.   Further longer battery life is important  but at some point you simply need a bigger battery.   There is no free lunch, each process shrink saves power but it also means more power usage from additional features.  For example more cores get more work done in a given time but the actual power used to do that is often more.    It comes down to context and what is actually being done, faster doesn’t always mean less power.  

    This is fairly easy to see in large core count machines.  Highly threaded work loads can get done fast but you are talking high power chips (watts) at a given process node.  
    My comment doesn’t preclude including a larger battery, especially if your recommendation of a beefier SoC with 4x RAM (using the current power envelope for the requisite HW) is included.

    PS: Doesn’t the iPhone 11 Pro Max have 4 GiB RAM? If so, could you really see it getting 16 GiB fo a 2019 release year? That seems like it would take up space which likely means reducing the batter size and using more power, and while the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the battery life of any iPhone is the gain in one area outweigh the loss in the others? The most popular Macs are still shipping with 8 GiB.
    edited January 2020 watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.