‘iPhone 14’ A16 Chip to Retain 5nm Fab Process as A15, Claims Kuo
According to veteran Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming A16 chip in this year’s flagship ‘iPhone 14’ series will continue to use a 5-nanometer fabrication process as the A14 and A15 chips, 9to5Mac is reporting.
The analyst noted that based on the public roadmap for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) silicon processes, its 3-nanometer and 4-nanometer fabs will not be available for mass production until next year. Sticking to the same fabrication generally limits possible performance and power efficiency gains.
However, the A15 chip managed to deliver nearly 10% performance and efficiency improvements over the A14 chip, despite sharing the same 5nm fabrication process.
Kuo has been fairly pessimistic on Apple’s chip upgrade roadmap in general. He has also said that the new next-generation MacBook Air set to be announced this fall will continue to use the same M1 chip as the current model. A faster, truly more advanced, ‘M2’ chip may not be available until next year.
Apple could make only minor tweaks to the current chip and use a different name, like M2, to juice sales for marketing purposes.
It is also unlikely that any other chip maker will be able to offer sub-5nm manufacturing this year.