The 2020 iPhone Will Have Apple's First 5-Nanometer Processor (Report)

The 2020 iPhone will not only get a radical aesthetic redesign but also a radical new processor made with 5 nanometer manufacturing technology, which will be a lot more efficient and faster than the current 7-nanometer A12 Bionic.

Credit: Lets Go Digital

(Image credit: Lets Go Digital)

At least that’s what Taiwanese tech industry news paper Digitimes is saying: “TSMC [the foundry the makes chips for Apple] “is expected to secure the first 5nm chip orders from Apple for the 2020 iPhones.”

The newspaper cites sources from TSMC, which claim that the company is making steady progress in the development of this new chip manufacturing technique and is positive it will be able to produce the chips in volume for the 2020 iPhone.

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TSMC’s new manufacturing technology uses EUV lithography, which stands for extreme ultra-violet, which is a holy grail for silicon makers because of the higher speeds and power efficiency it will provide. The smaller the manufacturing technique is, the higher density of transistors you can have in the same die, therefore pumping up performance with more cores.

Apple had the first commercially available 7-nanometer chip — the A12 Bionic — for the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. These phones are the fastest on the planet, obliterating everyone else except for Apple’s own iPad Pro, which uses the faster A12X Bionic chip.

While Samsung announced in 2017 that it will have 4-nanometer chips by 2020, it's hard to know whether the company will be able to fulfill that promise. The Exynos 9810 that powers the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series and the Galaxy Fold failed to reach 7nm. But the U,S. version of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Fold will use the 7-nanometer Snapdragon 855 from Qualcomm, which has impressed in benchmarks.

If the Digitimes report is true — and the radical redesign report turns into reality — the 2020 iPhone will definitely be the iPhone to get.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.