Apple A14 Processor Aimed to be a 5nm Design

According to a new report in the Digitimes, Apple will have the first mainline product 5 nanometer processor in 2020. What will likely be the Apple A14 will be manufactured by currently supplier TSMC. The chip maker is expecting to take their first order for a 5nm processor from Apple laster this year.

Apple and TSMC have proven to be a solid partnership. This year, with the launch of the Apple A12 Bionic in the iPhone lineup and the A12X in the iPad Pro lineup, the Cupertino company became the first phone maker to have a 7nm design. They were the first to have a 7nm processor and remain one of a few who do. Samsung announced this week that the Galaxy S10 will have a 7nm processor design.

While miniaturization of processors does not necessarily equate to speed, it does close down the gaps between transistors. That brings more power efficiency to the processor but it also leaves space for more transistors. That, in turn, is where the performance gains are to be found. The current A12 lineup are some of the fastest processor out there on phones and even when compared to some laptops.

For this year, the expected-to-be-named Apple A13 will retain the 7nm design so don’t expect huge jumps in performance over this year’s A12. There will be some but not a quantum leap. That will happen in 2020 when the Apple A14 and 5nm hits the market in what is already expected to be a revolutionary iPhone in 2020.

To put these size comparisons in perspective and to get a grasp of just how small 5 nanometer is, here are some examples of some things and their nanometer size.

  • A piece of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick
  • A strand of human DNA  is 2.5 nanometers in diameter
  • A human hair is 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers thick

Yes, 5nm is pretty darn small.

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