The A16 processor going in this fall’s iPhone 14 Pro models will be made with a 5nm process, according to a tipster. That’s the same process used for years, not a better one, and it means the upcoming iPhones won’t get as big a speed boost as expected.
Still, the A16 is rumored to get improved processor cores and other enhancements.
Apple A16 processor might not be as fast as expected
A collaboration between Apple and chip-maker TSMC has been able consistently provide faster iPhone processors every year for so long that people take it for granted. And the 2022 model will be faster than its predecessors. It just might not offer all the performance expected.
“A16 Bionic will continue to use 5nm from TSMC N5P,” according to tipster ShrimpApplePro on Twitter. “No 4nm.”
The Taiwanese company TSMC has been able to shrink the components of Apple’s chips every year or two, allowing them to work faster while generating less waste heat. But 2022 will break that pattern.
The A15 and A14 chips use a 5nm production process, the A13 and A12 were made with a 7nm process, and the A11 and A10 used a 10nm process. So the A16 should be made with a smaller process – but it’s not.
The upcoming chip was expected to use a 3nm production process but TSMC ran into problems getting this ready to use. It wasn’t ready in time to begin A16 production.
There have been predictions that Apple would settle for a 4nm process, but today’s leak says that’s a not happening. The A16 will be 5nm again.
iPhone 14 Pro models will still see chip improvements
Even without an improved production process, the Apple A16 won’t be a copy of the A15, of course.
“Upgrades are slightly better CPU, LPDDR5 RAM and better GPU,” according to ShrimpApplePro. Improved CPU and GPU core designs and faster RAM will bring improved performance to the iPhone 14 Pro models.
But apparently not the “regular” iPhone 14 and iPhone Max. These are rumored to be sticking with the A15.
TSMC now does have the wrinkles ironed out of its 3nm production process and it’s supposedly being used for the M2 processor headed for a wide range of new Macs, including the much-anticipated 2022 MacBook Air. And the 2022 iPad Pro, as well.