Apple may move to 4nm-based ‘A16’ processor for iPhones in next two years
Apple became the first to bring 5nm processor, A14 Bionic in iPhones this year. The chipset is said to be one of the most powerful ones you can find right now in smartphones. Same architecture is also being used for M1 chipset that powers the new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini. However, in a push to make devices even better and more efficient, the firm might just shift to a more efficient 4nm-based chipset with ‘A16'.
Since Apple launches a new A-series processor for iPhones every year, looking at the consistent track record, A16 might arrive two years from now in 2022. In a report by TrendForce, it is said that Apple is currently the only customer of TSMC for 5nm chipsets. And citing ‘current data' the research firm estimates that with A16 chipset, Apple will move to 4nm tech.
Qualcomm is expected to follow suit and get TSMC's 4nm process for Snapdragon processors. 4nm will mean better efficiency and performance gains due to more transistors. Apple's A14 Bionic right now includes as many as 16 billion transistors.
As for next year's chipset tipped as ‘A15 Bionic', Apple could move to TSMC's 5nm+ tech. This is likely to power iPhone 13 series.
For now, Apple, Huawei and Samsung have launched their 5nm processors. While Apple's wafer powers the iPhone 12 series, Huawei's 5nm Kirin 9000 has debuted in the Mate 40 smartphones. Samsung's 5nm Exynos 1080 is expected to show up in rumoured Galaxy S21 series, which is said to arrive in January next year. Qualcomm could come up with 5nm Snapdragon 8xx series by next month.