TSMC gives more evidence that iPhone 12 will be ready for later this year

By

Apple chipmaker racing ahead with its next next-gen nanometer process
TSMC is Apple's A-series chipmaker.
Screenshot: Apple

In more evidence that this year’s iPhone 12 will debut on time, Apple chipmaker TSMC says that its 5-nanometer chips are already in volume production and with satisfactory yield rates. TSMC expects a “a very fast and smooth ramp” of these chips in the second half of the year. It is heavily rumored that these will be the chips used in the new iPhone 12.

CEO CC Wei told investors this during an investor meeting held Thursday. Wei also said that TSMC is on track to deliver 3-nanometer chips which could be used in phones as soon as 2022.

On the subject of the next-gen 3-nanometer chips, Wei said that TSMC has “risk production” will take place in 2021. This is the first production run whereby the process is tested out ahead of manufacturing. Volume production will then follow in the second half of the next year. TSMC will reportedly make its new 3nm chips using its FinFET transistor structure.

As for the 5-nanometer chips likely to be used in the iPhone 12, Wei sounded confident. He said that 5-nanometer chip sales will account for about 10% of TSMC’s total wafer revenue this year. The details of the investor meeting were reported by Digitimes.

More evidence of iPhone 12 shipping on time

There are, of course, plenty more components to an iPhone than just its A-series chips. But TSMC saying that it’s on track with its new chips is certainly promising. Foxconn, which is Apple’s biggest assembly company, has also stated that it is ready to produce iPhones for this year.

Apple’s supply chain was battered earlier this year by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in China. But while the rest of the world is still suffering the effects of COVID-19, China appears to have largely recovered. Manufacturers are back up and running as usual.

The latest report, from Hong Kong-based analyst Jeff Pu, suggests that Apple will debut new iPhones in September and October this year. The iPhone 12 is likely to include a redesigned chassis, a new Lidar sensor, 5G support, and a new A-series chip squeezing on even more transistors than ever for a faster, more powerful chip.

By comparison, the chips used in current generation iPhones are produced with the 7nm process.