Apple’s A14 system-on-chip simply debuted this 12 months, however market analysts are already making predictions about next-next-generation silicon. TrendForce in a report Wednesday mentioned it expects the iPhone maker to maneuver to a smaller 4nm course of in about two years.
In a report overlaying Apple manufacturing accomplice TSMC, TrendForce notes Apple is at the moment the chipmaker’s sole customer for output from its 5nm foundry. Thought to be TSMC’s most superior node, 5nm strains have been initially tapped to supply chips for Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon earlier than U.S. sanctions halted these efforts.
Citing “present knowledge,” the analysis agency anticipates TSMC to accommodate orders for an “A16” SoC utilizing 4nm expertise. The timing is per Apple’s design traits.
Because the A10X, which was fabricated utilizing TSMC’s 10nm FinFET course of, A-series chips have undergone a die shrink each different 12 months. Present A14 Bionic and M1 silicon are the primary to make use of a 5nm structure, suggesting the subsequent leap will include “A16” in 2022.
Qualcomm will observe swimsuit and undertake TSMC’s 4nm course of for future Snapdragon chips, TrendForce predicts.
A die shrink ends in efficiency and performance gains, and opens the door to extra advanced designs able to taking over superior duties. As famous by Apple, the brand new M1 chips leverage the 5nm course of to cram in 16 billion transistors.
Within the interim between A14 and “A16,” Apple is anticipated to maneuver to TSMC’s 5nm+ wafer expertise for an “A15” SoC that may probably energy “iPhone 13” subsequent 12 months.