Apple's next-gen A15 chip will reportedly go into production starting may. As expected, the Cupertino-giant will continue its manufacturing partnership with TSMC.
A new report by Digitimes claims that Apple will begin production of its A15 chipset in May, keeping the launch of the new iPhone 13 later this year. The Apple A15 chip is said to use the same 5-nanometer fabrication size similar to its predecessor - the A14.
The Digitimes report also suggests that the new chip will be made using an "enhanced" manufacturing process despite having the same fabrication size at 5nm. To recall, the A14 was the first mass-produced chip to use the 5nm process, assuring great coordination between Apple and TSMC.
The 5nm fabrication process will remain, so the major performance improvements should ideally come through architectural changes, which Apple has been quite efficient in the recent past. Either way, it's not surprising to know that the process size remains the same as it's a usual cycle of two years when manufacturers tend to change the size. To recall, Apple and TSMC together were the first to bring mass consumer 7nm chip with A12 which was retained on the A13 as well.
Apple and TSMC, together, has been very successful with the adoption of the new process size in the past. The new M1 chip on Macs is the perfect example of the case as these chips have turned out to be super-efficient and much better than their Intel counterpart that was used earlier. Intel has been struggling to keep up the process die size, with its recent chips using 10nm fabrication size at best.
Digitimes says that Apple is keen to keep the lead as it has already ordered the 4nm supply, which is scheduled to start production in late 2021. The source also speculated that the 4nm chip will be seen first on Mac chips.