Apple’s next-gen 7nm A12 chips go into production

“Apple Inc. manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has started mass production of next-generation processors for new iPhones launching later this year, according to people familiar with the matter,” Mark Gurman and Debby Wu report for Bloomberg. “The processor, likely to be called the A12 chip, will use a 7-nanometer design that can be smaller, faster and more efficient than the 10-nanometer chips in current Apple devices like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, the people said. ”

“Apple would be one of the first phone makers to use the new chip technology in consumer devices,” Gurman and Wu report. “Apple plans to launch at least a trio of new iPhones this fall, including a larger version of the iPhone X’s design, an update to the current iPhone X size, and a lower-cost model with many of the iPhone X’s features but with a cheaper LCD screen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: After the stellar leap accomplished by Apple’s 10nm A11 Bionic, we have high hopes for the A12’s performance capabilities and efficiency!

TSMC ramps up production of Apple’s next-gen 7nm A12 SoC – April 23, 2018
iPhone 8’s Apple A11 Bionic chip so destroys Android phones that Geekbench creator can’t even believe it – September 30, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip is by far the highest-performing system on the market; totally destroys Android phones – September 19, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X leaves Android phones choking in the dust – September 18, 2017
The inside story of Apple’s amazing A11 Bionic chip – September 18, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
Apple accelerates mobile processor dominance with A11 Bionic; benchmarks faster than 13-inch MacBook Pro – September 15, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus on par with 2017 MacBook Pro – September 14, 2017


  1. In my opinion, it is inevitable that Apple will seek to transition its Macs over to its own Z-series processors. One big reason is the oft stated fact that Apple likes to “own the core technologies in its devices.” Another reason is power efficiency – performance/watt. In addition, given the excellent performance of the A11, the A12 should be highly competitive with Intel’s consumer CPU offerings. Furthermore, Apple updates its A-series SoCs annually (unlike Intel), thus increasing its ability to evolve the Mac and tailor its capabilities and performance. Cost is also a consideration – Apple would also benefit from the economy of scale provided by its iOS devices

    Some people are concerned about the loss of Bootcamp functionality – the ability to natively run Windows on Macs. In my opinion, that concern is overblown. It may have been a selling point back in the mid-2000s when Apple switched from PPC to Intel, but it is not nearly as important a decade later. Also, Apple and its third party developers have shown a talent for OS virtualization environments, which are generally far more convenient for most users than dual booting, anyway.

    Intel’s processor development problems and delays are making this decision even easier for Apple. I believe that Apple will released a lower-end Mac (MacBook, Mac mini) by the end of the second quarter of 2019 (next March) based on an A12 SoC.

    1. “Apple and its third party developers have shown a talent for OS virtualization”
      I think the bigger question is whether or not ARM, as an architecture, is a viable virtualization engine. Virtualization of an Intel based system running on an Intel processor is more a parlor trick than something that should be seen as an accomplishment. Going back to PowerPC, that was a processor that was well suited for emulation and virtualization.

      I just see virtualization as something 99% of the current Mac buying public will never do, so a solution may not even be offered by Apple.

  2. Although using 7nm will provide great power efficiency, I expect Apple will shrink the battery capacity on the iPhone and users will end up with the same battery life as before. I don’t understand why Apple sees fit to provide batteries with less than 3000mAh. Most flagship smartphones use that capacity figure as the standard. Only Apple has to go as low as 2700mAh. Why? To save a few bucks on each iPhone. Not good for consumers happily willing to pay more for iPhones.

    1. Huh, iPhone customers get better technology from meaningfully faster chips year over year, AND always delivered with the same 10 hours of battery life. At some point in the recent past, that would be seen as an impossible goal and something worthy of accolades. Now, it’s “Yeah, but…”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.