Apple to Use TSMC's 5nm+ Process for A15, 4nm Process for A16 [Report]

Apple to Use TSMC's 5nm+ Process for A15, 4nm Process for A16 [Report]

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Apple will use TSMC's 5nm+ process for its A15 SoC and the company's 4nm process for the A16 SoC, according to new report from TrendForce.

The site said Apple is currently the only client using TSMC's 5nm process; however, that will change next year.

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With regards to the 5nm process technology, which is the most advanced node at the moment and which entered mass production in early 2020, Apple remains the sole client utilizing TSMC’s 5nm process after U.S. sanctions prohibited chip shipment to Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon. As such, despite Apple’s wafer input orders for its in-house-developed Mac CPU and FPGA accelerators used in servers, these wafer inputs are unable to completely make up for the leftover excess wafer capacities following HiSilicon’s departure. TSMC’s 5nm capacity utilization rate for 2H20 is therefore estimated to fall within the 85-90% range. Looking ahead to 2021, in addition to Apple’s 5nm+ wafer input for the A15 Bionic SoC, trial production will also kick off for a small batch of AMD 5nm Zen 4 CPUs. These products will help maintain TSMC’s 5nm capacity utilization rate at an 85-90% range next year.

It should be pointed out that, from late-2021 to 2022, MediaTek, Nvidia, and Qualcomm will kick-start their 5/4nm mass production, while AMD will ramp up its Zen 4 CPU manufacturing. Moreover, the first batch of outsourced 5nm Intel CPUs is also expected to enter production in 2022. The enormous wafer demand from these companies have led TSMC to begin expanding its 5nm capacity. Furthermore, based on current data, Apple is highly likely to continue manufacturing its A16 SoCs with the 4nm process technology (a process shrink of the 5nm node). This may lead TSMC to further expand its 5nm capacity at that time to fulfill high demand from clients.
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More details in the full report linked below...

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Apple to Use TSMC's 5nm+ Process for A15, 4nm Process for A16 [Report]

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