At the start of the fourth quarter of 2020, Apple will start mass production of its A14X processor, DigiTimes reports. This is significant because the A14X will be used in the company's very first publicly available Apple Silicon Mac.
Digitimes claims the Apple supplier TSMC is currently preparing to mass-produce the A14X chips. According to industry insiders, the manufacturer plans to manufacture up to 6,000 wafers using the new 5nm (nanometre) process; a wafer can contain several hundred individual chips.
With the new process, TSMC expects more energy-efficient and faster processors than with the 7nm process used for the A13 in the iPhone 11. According to the manufacturer, the new generation of chips will use almost 30% less energy than its predecessor for the same tasks. The performance should increase by almost 15% compared to the 7nm process. TSMC is also using the second generation of its EUV (extreme ultraviolet radiation) lithography, which results in fewer defective wafers per batch.
The new chip is expected to appear in both the next-generation MacBook and iPad Pro, both of which will use the company's proprietary ARM processors. According to previous information from Bloomberg, the Mac processor will have 12 cores, of which eight are high-performance and four are energy-efficient.
According to DigiTimes, more and more manufacturers are adopting Apple's strategy of packing the entire system of necessary elements on one chip. TSMC now wants to offer its own "System in a Package" (SIP) or "System on a Chip" (SOC) solutions to other manufacturers of electronic devices.
We already know that Apple's first Apple Silicon Mac will be released towards the end of the year in the form of a lightweight 12in MacBook with a battery life of between 15 and 20 hours.