Apple could be working on an A12 processor that’s 20 percent faster and 40 percent more efficient than the A11 Bionic CPU bundled on the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, according to a new report.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the firm that assembles all of Apple’s CPUs, has announced that it’s mastered the intricate 7nm manufacturing process, giving Apple the option to build a 7nm chip for its next wave of iPhones.
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The easiest way for Apple to improve its chipset is to migrate to a more efficient manufacturing process – and that’s what TSMC is offering with 7nm. The A11 Bionic, for comparison, is built on a 10nm process.
‘nm’ is the measurement of the distance between the transistors in a processor – the smaller the distance, the more transistors you can squeeze in to boost power. And the smaller the CPU, the more efficient it is, because it emits less waste heat.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company says that, compared to its 10nm FinFET processes, its 7nm FinFET features ” ~20% speed improvement, and ~40% power reduction” – something Apple will be keen to take advantage of.
It should go without saying that TSMC didn’t mention Apple at all, so the entire report is based on speculation. But given that it’s Apple’s main supplier of chipsets, there’s a good chance the improvements could be applied to the upcoming A12.
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