The Apple iPhone 12 series smartphones were the first devices of the company based on 5nm processors. At the same time, according to network sources, the manufacturer is already planning an upgrade of the technological process for its future new products. Experts of the analytical company Trend Force reported this in their new report and named the expected dates for the appearance of the first chips of the American brand, manufactured using the 4nm process technology.
According to analysts, Apple is now partnering with TSMC to manufacture the Apple A15 Bionic processors in accordance with N5P standards, a 5nm process optimized for energy efficiency and performance. The launch of the new mobile platform in mass production is expected in the third quarter of 2021.
The report also contains a forecast for 2022 – presumably by this time Apple will switch to 4-nanometer technology for manufacturing microcircuits at the facilities of a Taiwanese chipmaker. The first processor of the new generation will be the Apple A16 Bionic. It is possible that similar changes will affect the ARM-family of Apple M1 processors for laptops.
Previously, TSMC and Samsung Electronics announced that they had already started mastering more “thin” technological processes (2-nm and 3-nm), planning to begin their mass production by 2025.
Snapdragon 885 Will Use Samsung 5nm, Snapdragon 895 Will Turn To TSMC 4nm
The Snapdragon 875 will come sooner than its predecessors were launched. Qualcomm has confirmed that it will be officially unleashed on December 1. The first smartphone with this chip onboard will hit the market in January 2021; at least 2 months earlier than previous years.
Not surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series is still the first to launch the Snapdragon 875 in the world. And the Xiaomi Mi 11 will be the first to launch the Snapdragon 875 in China. The first batch of Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 manufacturers include Xiaomi (including Redmi, Black Shark), VIVO (including iQOO), BBK (OPPO, Realme, OnePlus), etc.
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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 will use a EUV process – Samsung 5nm LPE process. Also, it will adopt the ‘1 + 3 + 4’ octa-core three cluster architecture. The single large core will have a 2.84GHz clock speed, 3 A78 cores will have a 2.42GHz clock speed and 4 A55 cores will have a 1.8GHz clock speed.
In addition, the GPU of the Snapdragon 875 is upgraded to Adreno 660. Furthermore, this chipset will use Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit (SPU250), Spectra 580 image-processing engine, and Snapdragon Sensors Core Technology. For connectivity, Qualcomm SD875 supports external 802.11ax, 2×2 MIMO, and Bluetooth Milan. This chipset also supports 3G/ 4G/ 5G modem – Millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz bands.
Snapdragon 885 and Snapdragon 895
However, we should say that Qualcomm has already started working on the next-gen flagship chip. The Snapdragon 885 will come later in 2021. Obviously, the current specifications are unknown, but it will continue to use Samsung’s 5nm process and may be an improved version of 5nm LPP process.
As for the Snapdragon 895 in 2022, there are no detailed specifications. But the process technology will change. Qualcomm is likely to switch back to TSMC’s foundry on this generation of chips, just like the Snapdragon 855/865 case.
The Snapdragon 895 is likely to use TSMC’s 4nm process. In fact, it is an improved version of the 5nm process. The design is compatible with 5nm, and there will be more EUV mask layers. However, the specific performance and power consumption will change greatly.