TSMC Begins Production of New A13 Processor for 2019 iPhones [Report]

TSMC has begun production of a new Apple A13 processor which will be used in the company’s next generation iPhones, reports Bloomberg.

TSMC has begun production of a new Apple A13 processor which will be used in the company’s next generation iPhones, reports Bloomberg.

The processor went into early test production in April and mass production could begin as early as this month. Both Apple and TSMC declined requests to comment.

Traditional central processors are not always the best solution for new tasks such as image and voice recognition. In recent years, Apple has added new components to its chips, including parts that handle graphics and machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence software. It’s also planning other new types of chips, including a cellular modem for making calls and connecting to the internet, and power components based on a recent deal with Dialog Semiconductor Plc.

Apple is expected to equip all three of its new iPhone models with the A13 chip. The successors to the iPhone XS and XS Max are codenamed D43 and D44. The updated iPhone XR is dubbed N104.

Recent reports have suggested that the new iPhone XS and XS Max will get a third camera while the new iPhone XR will gain a second camera. Alongside the improved camera, Bloomberg has heard that Apple is working on an auto-correction feature that could fit people back into a photo after it has been taken.

Apple is also expected to debut a new feature that lets users wirelessly charge another device, like AirPods, using their smartphone.

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TSMC Begins Production of New A13 Processor for 2019 iPhones [Report]

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TSMC enters mass production of ‘A13’ chips in preparation for 2019 iPhone launch

According to one report, this includes TSMC, the company tasked with manufacturing the all-important A-series chip that goes into the new releases.

By Malcolm Owen

Friday, May 10, 2019, 07:57 am PT (10:57 am ET)

Apple chip partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has commenced production of the next iPhone System-on-Chip, the Apple-designed “A13,” one that is thought to start mass production in May ahead of the annual iPhone refresh in September.


TSMC

Firms in the iPhone supply chain are expected to be working to produce components in preparation for assembly of the latest iPhone models at this time of year. According to one report, this includes TSMC, the company tasked with manufacturing the all-important A-series chip that goes into the new releases.

According to an internal TSMC source of Bloomberg, the company went into early test production of the new A-series chip in April, with mass production planned for “as early as this month.”

The A-series chip for 2019’s iPhones is thought to be the “A13,” a name that follows the trend of an annual numerical increment. While few details about the chip’s capabilities are rumored, it is likely to include both general and graphical performance increases over earlier iterations.

TSMC’s manufacturing capacity for its 7-nanometer production process will likely be pushed to the limit for this year’s models, and could possibly freeze out TSMC’s lines for its other clients entirely for the quarter. TSMC is also tipped to be using a new enhanced process for the “A13” from other previous 7-nanometer chips, with “N7 Pro,” though exactly what the differences are from the established process remains unknown.

The “A13” could be the last A-series chip TSMC produces for Apple using a 7-nanometer process. The “A14” for 2020 may use a 6-nanometer process, while a 5-nanometer process is also under development that could be used for future versions.

The remainder of Friday’s report contains no new information in regards to the new iPhones, that Ming-Chi Kuo from TF Securities hasn’t already discussed. The 2019 iPhones are rumored to be called the “iPhone XI,” “iPhone XI Max,” and the “iPhone XE,” updated variants of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. While staying relatively similar in terms of design, with an expected spec bump, the main change is the addition of an extra camera for each, with the two premium models having three cameras to the “XE” having two.

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TSMC starts risk production of 5nm chipsets, 7nm+ and 5nm+ chipsets in the works as well

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited or TSMC is a leading chipmaking company that manufactures chipsets for Qualcomm, …

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited or TSMC is a leading chipmaking company that manufactures chipsets for Qualcomm, Huawei, Apple, etc. The Taiwan-based company is working on the next advanced 5nm node to manufacture future chipsets and according to its timeline, the company has already started risk production and expects to ship out mass production for the next-gen 5nm chipsets by the first half of next year.

When compared to the 7nm manufacturing node which was used in Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980 AI chip as well, the 5nm node will offer up to 45% reduction in area and 15% higher performance along with other improvements that will be shipped out with it.

Apart from the 5nm chipsets, TSMC is also working on refined and improved next-gen 7nm+ node using EUV technology since the previous 7nm chipsets weren’t able to use EUV technology due to some problems. The EUV technology used in 7nm+ chipsets will offer 20% higher transistor density along with 12% reduction in power consumption when compared to the currently used 7nm process which is a huge win over limitations.

It is a known fact that the Taiwan-based chipmaking giant is Apple’s sole chip supplier till 2020 where it manufactures 7nm Apple A12 Bionic chips and currently moving on to the next Apple A13 chipsets for 2019 iPhones which could either use 7nm+ or 5nm node for sure. Further, Qualcomm is also contracting TSMC to manufacture Snapdragon 855 which is the premium chipset for flagship smartphones.

Keeping all types of chipsets aside, TSMC is also in works in developing 5nm+ chipsets that will be refined, improved and attuned version of the 5nm chipsets that will bring in a reduction in area, power consumption, increase in performance and more. The 5nm+ process is expected to start risk production in the first quarter of 2020 followed by mass production in 2021.

However, the question arises, what after 5nm chipsets? Could TSMC or any other chipmunking giant manufacture a 3nm chip since we are already pushing the limits of how many transistors a chip can hold even though we have been able to reduce the size of transistors to a mere 5nm across (5nm chipset) as we are reaching the top of Moore’s Law here? Anyways, whatever it is, you’ll get to know more about the technology here on True-Tech for sure.

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Bloomberg: Apple A13 production kicks off, destined for iPhone 11 and the new iPhone XR in the fall

Supply chain sources have previously reported that the Apple A13 chip will be built by TSMC on a ‘7nm+’ process. In an article posted today, …

Supply chain sources have previously reported that the Apple A13 chip will be built by TSMC on a ‘7nm+’ process. In an article posted today, Bloomberg says that the A13 chip is now in trial production and could ramp up to mass production later in May.

The A13 chip will be used in the next-generation iPhone lineup, the 5.8-inch iPhone 11, 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Max and a successor to the 6.1-inch iPhone XR.

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Apple has forged its own path with GPU and CPU chip silicon to great success, relying on TSMC as its manufacturing partner for its custom designs. Apple’s lead in mobile chip performance means that even previous-generation iPhones rival flagship Android devices in performance benchmarks.

Beefier versions of its iPhone chips ultimately make their way into iPads too. Apple is widely believed to be developing its own chips for future Macs.

It’s unclear when the first Apple-ARM-powered Mac devices will ship, although it is likely to come to a laptop form factor first (like the 12-inch MacBook).

iPhone 11 codenames and other details

In addition to the A13 chip details, Bloomberg says the iPhone XS successor is codenamed ‘D43’ and the new iPhone XR is codenamed ‘N104’. Each model will gain an extra camera with the ‘iPhone 11’ adding an ultra-wide lens. Bloomberg says Apple’s iPhone hardware upgrades will enable more detailed photos and ‘a broader range of zoom’.

Bloomberg says the iPhone 11 chassis will increase in thickness by about 0.5mm to accommodate the triple-camera system. Macotakara previously reported similar measurements. Bloomberg also backs up recent renders that show the new camera bump as a square design.

The site also says that Apple will enable users to charge their wireless-charging AirPods by placing it on the back of an iPhone 11. Bilateral power charging for the iPhone was first detailed by Ming-Chi Kuo, and is already seen in flagship Android devices.


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Apple Chip Supplier Optimistic On China’s Smartphone Market

CEO Jalal Bagherli, the CEO of Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor, said that the smartphone market in China is set to rebound after a soft first …

CEO Jalal Bagherli, the CEO of Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor, said that the smartphone market in China is set to rebound after a soft first quarter.

Bagherli expressed his optimism in his outlook for the Chinese mobile phone market during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”. He agreed with the recent remark of Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.

He said that the market for mobile phones was pretty soft particularly in China in Q1, but I think from late Q1 and going forward it has started to pick up. The recent data released by the research firm Canalys said that smartphone shipments in China declined 3 percent in the first quarter of the year to the lowest level since 2013.

Recently, Cook said that sales in China were starting to improve following the company’s move to lower its revenue guidance in January citing weak demand from Chinese consumers. Sales improved with the aid of the stimulus measures coming from the Chinese government. Canalys said that, while Apple’s smartphone shipments declined 30 percent year-on-year in China in Q1, Chinese tech firm Huawei’s shipments surged 41 percent in that period.

According to Mr. Bagherli, there is a shift in market share taking place among the major smartphone sellers in China, with Huawei and Xiaomi “exhibiting much higher growth than others. He said that the overall market remains large but I don’t think anyone should expect huge growth until 5G really kicks in which will be probably a year to 18 months from now.

Last year, Dialog inked a licensing deal worth $600 million with Apple.

Dialog reported a cash windfall of the agreement in the first quarter. The report said that more than300 of its employees are now working with Apple.

The company also reported that its business with Apple not covered by the recent deal reached $46 million in the first quarter. It is 92 percent higher compared to a year ago. Bagherli said that it gives a sign of our strong partnership with Apple going forward.

Dialog’s shares remained flat in early trading on Thursday. It, however, recovered by more than 60 percent since the start of the year. The rising trade tension between the United States and China placed pressure on the broader European chip sector.

It also contributed a modest profit outlook from United States tech giant Intel. The uncertainty of the outcome of the scheduled negotiations between trade representatives of China and the United States caused a decline in the global market.

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