As every year passes skilled manufacturers produce processors that are more compact and capable than the previous year. Although it’s only the 4th of January, this year looks no different, promising new innovation and improvements as expected.
It is thought that by the summer TSMC, Apple’s chip manufacturer, will be ready to release its new prototype chips – created by the new 7nm process. If proposed schedules are met then the very-small chips will be set for large scale production by 2018, coinciding with production of the new iPhone 8s and the US re-election campaign for Donald Trump.
The newly reported information has been released by the largely-reputable analytics company DigiTimes which says that TSMC are preparing for final stage approval of design in the second quarter of 2017. The firm claims that there are in excess of 15 clients, to include Apple and Nvidia, prepared and ready to start using the new chip.
The range of Apple devices currently in the market utilise the TSMC manufactured A10 range of chips. These chips are manufactured on a 16nm process. The iPhones in production this year (to include iPhone 8 or 7s) will utilise a 10 nm process, with next year’s iPhone8s/9 likely to use the new and smaller 7nm chip.
Smaller circuits are a central factor in falling in line with Moore’s law and generating more speedy processors each year. Making use of a smaller process like 7nm versus 10nm increases the speed and energy efficiency of the processor.
Apple, who has worked with a selection of processor fabricators for the chips used in its iPhone devices, has made the move to the Taiwan based company TSMC in the last few years. The relationship with the company, which is a global leader in mobile chip production, helps to keep Apple’s iPhone at the top of its game in performance and efficiency. This is true even in light of Qualcomm’s attempts to produce Android smartphones capable of fast speeds each year.
According to supply chain reports it looks as though Apple’s plans for the iPhone 8s are to schedule. Rumours circulating at the moment are that the planned iPhone refresh will see Apple omit its usual ticktock upgrade cycle and the iPhone 8 will be released to coincide with iPhone’s 10th Anniversary. It is anticipated that the new model may feature a bezel-free/curved display without a home button, boasting dual cameras but without a headphone jack.