Production begins this month on A14 chip for 5G iPhone 12


Apple A14 processor
Expect great things from the Apple A14 processor.
CGI: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The iPhone 12 will take a giant step closer to reality when TSMC begins producing the Apple A14 processor later this month, according to an unconfirmed report coming out of Asia on Friday. This reportedly will be the first A-series chip made with a 5-nanometer process, which should bring an increase in performance while improving battery life.

The A14 will supposedly use Qualcomm’s X60 modem, potentially giving it access to every type of 5G network.

Apple A14 brings evidence iPhone 12 could be delayed

The COVID-19 pandemic caused difficulties for Apple’s efforts to get the 2020 iPhone ramped up for production, and there’s conflicting reports on when it’ll debut. The most recent predicts the iPhone 12 will launch in September. However, earlier reports said the release will be pushed back to October.

Adding weight to the rumors of a delayed release, Digitimes indicates today that TSMC will begin making the Apple A14 this month. For comparison, last year’s the A13 chip went into production in May.

That said, Digitimes recently reported that the iPhone 12 itself will begin production in July.

With all the 5G

The iPhone 12 is virtually certain to be the first with 5G, a much faster successor for the 4G LTE networks everyone uses today. The make that possible, Digitimes reports the A14 will include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 5G Modem. This is the most advanced chip on the market, and it “supports every available 5G network and can take advantage of your carrier’s 5G advancements,” says Qualcomm.

Wireless telecoms aren’t using the same frequencies for 5G. Some picked mmWave for faster data transfer speeds, while others are using 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum for greater range. The X60 supports all of these.

The modem is also made with a 5nm process for “all-day battery life,” according to Qualcomm.

Four iPhone models on the docket

According to numerous sources, Apple is planning no less than four iPhone 12 versions. These include a standard of tier of 5.4- and 6.1-inch handsets, as well as 6.1- and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro models. All will feature redesigned chassis and OLED displays, and will use the A14 processor

Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro series will supposedly have an improved LiDAR 3D scanner like the one in the latest iPad Pro.

All four handsets will be the first in Apple history to boast 5G capabilities.


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