Production begins on iPhone 11’s A13 processor

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iPhone XS teardown
It’s a safe assumption that the A13 processor will be faster than the A12 one in the iPhone XS.
Photo: iFixit

One of the most vital components of the 2019 iPhone is already being fabricated. The A13 chip is now in trial production by TSMC, the Taiwanese company that has produced every iPhone and iPad chip for years.

What to expect from the Apple A13

Apple and TSMC have managed to bost the overall performance of A-series chips every year since the launch of the first iPhone, and this next iteration isn’t expected to be any different.

The A13 will be made with an improved version of the 7 nanometer production process used on the A12, according to information leaked to Bloomberg. This is a measurement of the distance between components of the processor. Packing these into less space means better performance and less waste heat, saving power.

Steady improvement in iPhone processors

TSMC has managed to move from a 20nm design in 2014 to a 10nm process in 2017 to the current 7nm. It’s expected to be able to put 5nm chips in the 2020 iPhone.

To realize what an achievement this is, consider that most of Intel’s processors are made with a 14nm process, and the company is still early in the process of transitioning to 10nm.

The reliable, steady improvement to be expected from the A-series and TSMC is one of the reasons cited in the unconfirmed reports that Apple plans to transition Mac to using this type of processor, and away from Intel.