Apple chip supplier will be maxed out by 2019 iPhone orders

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Apple will require a lot of chips for this year's iPhone refresh.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s primary chip supplier will see production capacity pushed to the limit by 2019 iPhone orders, according to a new report.

TSMC has been tasked with supplying next-generation 7-nanometer chips for this fall’s refresh. It is expected to start mass-production of what will likely be the A13 during the third quarter.

TSMC has been one of Apple’s primary chip suppliers for many years. It was one of the first manufacturers to adopt the latest 7-nanometer manufacturing process, which Apple employed for last year’s A12 Bionic.

The same process will be used for this year’s A-series upgrade. And according to industry sources, TSMC will have to push its production capacity to the limit to meet demand for the iPhone during the third quarter.

TSMC will be busy this fall

As a result of Apple’s orders, TSMC “will enjoy a substantial rise in the process capacity utilization during the quarter,” reports Digitimes.

Qualcomm and MediaTek are said to be keeping a close eye on TSMC’s utilization rate. They could demand more 7-nanometer chips during the second quarter of the year if it looks like Apple will exhaust manufacturing lines.

TSMC will be glad of the production boost. It has endured a slow start to 2019, but it is expecting an increase in orders during the second quarter as demand for new Android devices picks up.

What can we expect from Apple’s A13 chip?

Little is known about what the A13 chip might bring to Apple’s next-generation devices as things stand. But based on past refreshes, fans can look forward to even greater improvements in both processing and graphics performance.

The 2019 iPhone lineup is also expected to offer improved cameras, with a three-lens camera system in some models.