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TSMC Ramping Up for 7nm A13 Chip Manufacturing

TSMC, the chip manufacture who produces all of the Apple designed A-series chips, is gearing up for the new A13 for 2019. Reports have been circulating for months that the Taiwanese manufacture is set to make this year’s new SoC for Apple using a new 7 nanometer EUV. That production appears to be set to begin this quarter.

7 nanometer chip manufacturing is not new as the A12 series is this size, but the EUV is new. Extreme Ultraviolet lithography (EUV) allows for even more precise and denser chip layouts. The current A12 chip has some 6.9 billion transistors and with the A13 in this new process, it very likely will bump up over 7 billion. To put this in perspective, one of the first widely popular desktop processors was the Motorola 8088. That chip, which began manufacturing in 1979, had 29,000 transistors.

TSMC is set to begin building the HiSilicon Kirin 985 using this new technology now with further enhancements set to go into place before the Apple A13 production begins. That new “N7 Pro” process will be the first chip using it, but it is unclear what is unique about it versus what will be done on the Kirin SoC.

The A13 is expected to be the SoC in the 2019 iPhon lineup and could be a part of updated iPad models later in the year too. As for 2020, it is widely expected that the A14 SoC will be the first with a 5nm design.

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