It is commonly known that the Apple 12 will be powered by A14 Bionic mobile processor and an integrated X55 5G modem made by Qualcomm. The new generation chip should keep Apple in the spotlight with its immense processing power. All variants of the iPhone 11 remain the most powerful smartphones in the market and we could imagine that the iPhone 12 will be even faster. One interesting feature of the A14 chip is the 5nm manufacturing process, which brings the miniaturization of a mobile processor to another level. This keeps the Bionic processor series at the forefront of mobile chip development. However, Apple won’t be the only company with a 5nm chip. Huawei will release its own version of 5nm Soc, the Kirin 990. Due to the next-level miniaturization, the manufacturing process needs to be more accurate. For this purpose, Apple will use Samsung’s EUV technology for a more accurate placement of the extremely small transistors.
The A14 Bionic processor will still be made by Apple’s long-time partner in processor manufacturing, the Taiwanese company TMSC. Apple should use the latest fabrication process to make its upcoming processors more energy-efficient and faster. This is quite possible because the iPhone and iPad are pretty much in a tight environment where Apple could closely control all aspects of the production. This includes how Bionic series microprocessors should be designed and manufactured. The common methodology that Apple uses is to continuously fine-tune all aspects of the design and production while optimizing the software and hardware relation. This should ensure the smoother performance of the iPhone in real-life settings. Apple always chooses the micro-architecture parameters and hardware manufacturers for its mobile chips from the ground up. One advantage with next-level miniaturization is better performance without the need for a bigger battery because performance is higher for the same amount of power utilization.
The current A13 Bionic processor is made using 2nd generation 7nm manufacturing process by TSMC. It consists of six ARMv8.3-A 64-bit cores with four “Thunder” energy-efficient cores and two “Lightning” high-performance cores operating at 2.65GHz each. It also includes a four-core GPU that Apple designed themselves. In total, the A13 Bionic chip contains 8.5 billion transistors. With the upcoming 5nm A14 processor, more transistors would be crammed on a smaller die. Apple has contributed significantly to the investment of 7nm manufacturing process with TSMC. So, it is possible that the 5nm A14 chip will use the same, but more improved manufacturing process.