TSMC may build A15 chips for 2021 iPhones, Macs using its next-gen 5nm+ and 4nm process

Apple is reportedly planning to manufacture next year’s iPhone, iPad and Mac chips on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 5nm+ and 4nm process technologies. By comparison, the current A14 chips in the latest iPhones and the M1 chips in the new MacBook Air, Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro are being fabbed on TSMC’s five-nanometer process.

According to a new report today by Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, TSMC’s 5nm+ process technology (also know as N5P) is basically a “performance-enhanced version” of its current 5nm node. Chips that will be manufactured using that technology will deliver additional power savings and performance improvements.

As for TSMC’s 4nm process (even smaller transistors leading to higher speed and lower power consumption), it should be utilized to manufacture Apple’s tentatively named “A16” chip that’s expected to power the iPhone models that are coming in 2022. Assuming the TrendForce report is correct, Apple fans should expect products that perform even faster and have longer battery life. This is going to be key for Apple’s desktop chips, as the inaugural M1 chip has already shocked the industry with unheard-of speed gains and power efficiency.

Apple is working on three Mac chips, Bloomberg reported.

We have now seen what Apple’s first Mac chip, the M1, is capable of in the new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini. Other Mac computers are expected to utilize new desktop chips from Apple that are yet to be officially announced, including a new version of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, a redesigned all-in-one iMac desktop and a souped-up Mac Pro workstation.

The Cupertino technology giant remains the sole client utilizing TSMC’s 5nm process, which is the most sophisticated semiconductor node at the moment.