Industry Analyst TrendForce references Apple's 2021 iPhone Chip from TSMC while TSMC gets Approval for U.S. Plant
Yesterday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung Vows to overtake TSMC's Chip Business by 2022 and Aims to Win back Apple's chip Business." The report noted that Samsung hopes to adopt what’s known as the Gate-All-Around technique for its 3nm processors which is regarded by some as game-changing technology. TSCM is preparing their 3nm for 2022 that will offer a 15% performance gain, up to 30% power reduction and a logic density gain up to 70% over their current 5nm processors that power the new iPhone 12 models.
For 2021, TSMC will introduce their N5P processor which builds on their 2020 5nm processor. It will offer an additional 5% speed gain and 10% power improvement. While TSMC dubs their 2021 high-end processor the N5P, analyst TrendForce is calling it 4nm in their latest report to make it easier for the public to understand. Though technically, it's incorrect because TSMC doesn't refer to their 2021 N5P as being 4nm.
Yesterday TrendForce stated in a report that "Apple is highly likely to continue manufacturing its A16 SoCs with the 4nm process technology, which they acknowledged is really a process shrink of the 5nm node.
TrendForce further states that "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, Apple is to use 5nm+ wafer input for the A15 Bionic SoC."
TrendForce called Apple's 2021 A15 both 5nm+ and 4nm, though it's really a process shrink of the 5nm node. So technically, it's not a 4nm processor. As we noted earlier in this report, the 2021 processor for the iPhone will only offer a mild speed bump unless there's a surprise unknown to the market at present.
The bigger jump is set for 2022 with 3nm. For more read the full TrendForce report.
TSMC Wins Approval From Phoenix for $12 Billion Chip Plant
In other TSMC news, City officials in Phoenix, Arizona approved a slate of financial incentives and government support for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s planned $12 billion chip plant, a step toward bringing high-tech manufacturing to the U.S. and addressing national security concerns over the industry supply chain.
The city agreed to provide about $200 million to develop roads, sewers and other infrastructure, according to a notice from the city council. At least one additional traffic light will be included for a cost of approximately $500,000. The company is conducting due diligence on several locations in Phoenix with a final decision to be made later.
The decision to locate a plant in Arizona came after the Trump administration warned about the threat inherent in having much of the world’s electronics made outside of the U.S. TSMC, the primary chipmaker for companies like Apple Inc., had negotiated a deal with the administration to create American jobs and produce sensitive components domestically for national security reasons. The Phoenix project is projected to create about 1,900 new jobs over five years, the company said. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.