Apple appears to be ready to once again lead smartphone chip architecture with manufacturing partner TSMC readying 7-nanometer fabrication to be used to manufacture the A13 chip for the 2019 iPhone later this year.
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Continuing previous reports, the Commercial Times says that TSMC is ready to enter 7nm production with EUV this quarter. EUV stands for ‘extreme ultraviolet lithography’ and enables even more precise and miniaturized chip layouts.
The first customer for TSMC’s 7nm EUV output will not be Apple though. The report says the HiSilicon Kirin 985 will be the first system-on-a-chip to be made with that process. However, Apple’s A13 production will follow soon after and use an ‘enhanced version’ of the process named ‘N7 Pro’.
It is unclear what the difference between the normal N7+, and the N7 Pro, fabrication is. All we know is that Apple will claim it first. The report says N7 Pro will be ready for mass production later in the second quarter, which is right on time for the next iPhone supply chain ramp.
The 2019 iPhones are expected to debut in the fall, likely announced at a media event in early September.