Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported in Twitterthat the Apple A16 single-chip platform for the upcoming iPhone 14 will be produced using the 5nm process technology, like its predecessor and its predecessor. This conclusion was made according to the roadmap of the contract semiconductor manufacturer TSMC – 3 and 4 nm manufacturing processes will become available for mass production only in 2023. This will have a direct impact on the plans of the company’s customers.
Here it is worth recalling another forecast of Mr. Kuo, which in March declaredthat the A16 processor will only go to the older iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, while the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Max will retain last year’s Apple A15 Bionic and will be limited to an increase in RAM from 4 to 6 GB.
Keeping the same process technology usually means that the chip designer will only be able to increase performance and reduce power consumption to a limited extent. For example, the same Apple A15 Bionic turned out to be 10% more progressive in both parameters than its 5-nm predecessor A14 Bionic.
The analyst’s bad news doesn’t stop there: according to him, the next-generation MacBook Air expected in the fall will again run on the M1 processor, as well as actual model, and the faster and more progressive M2 will also appear only next year. Apple could of course make small changes to the current generation chip and call it the M2 purely for marketing purposes. But rather, the new MacBook Air will simply get a more powerful version of the M1 Pro.
The processors for the iPhone have never been produced using the same process technology for three years in a row until now – Apple did everything to keep its developments at the forefront, thanks to which it remained ahead of the competition. However, this year may be an unfortunate exception, because this time TSMC, as Apple’s main contractor, has not found an opportunity to push the technical boundaries. And the likelihood that any other company will be able to offer sub-5nm production this year is negligible.
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