While Apple’s competitors are using chips that are based on the next-generation 4-nanometer fabs, the A16 Bionic chip for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 lineup will continue to be based on 5-nanometer fabs.
TSMC to use its 5nm process node on the upcoming A16 Bionic chip
As revealed by TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Twitter, the A16 Bionic chip will continue to be made using 5nm tech similar to the A14 and A15 Bionic chips. Previous reports have led us to believe that the Pro variants in the year’s lineup are going to be the only models to feature the A16 chip. The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will continue to be powered by the A15 chip.
Reliable tipster @ShrimpApplePro has also said that the A16 Bionic chip will still be based on the 5nm process this year. Though he does advise to take this rumor with a pinch of salt. The tipster’s source does claim that the A16 Bionic could be based on the TSMCFF5 which would mean a refreshed process node.
FROM A FAIRLY RELIABLE SOURCE, BUT TAKE THIS ONE WITH A BIG GRAIN OF MSG.
A16 BIONIC WILL CONTINUE TO USE 5NM FROM TSMC N5P. FROM THE LIST I RECEIVED FROM SOURCE “TSMCFF5”
UPGRADES ARE SLIGHTLY BETTER CPU, LPDDR5 RAM AND BETTER GPU.
Although last year’s A15 chip was also made using the 5nm tech as the A14 Bionic, it offered some improvements. Changes made to the fabrication offered improvements of an estimated 10% in CPU performance and up to 30% in graphics. Both ShrimpApplePro and Kuo have said that the 4nm process will not offer significant gains in comparison to the 5nm process.
It is possible that Apple chip partner TSMC is unable to use a different process size for the A16 chip due to the ongoing chip shortage which is expected to continue until 2023 at the latest.
Despite today’s report, the average user should not worry too much. The A16 Bionic chip will more than likely offer improved performance and efficiency than last year’s chip.