June 14, 2024

Apple iPhone 14 Pro models will come with the A16 Bionic chip that will be based on TSMC’s existing 5nm process technology, an analyst has predicted based on the roadmap released by the Taiwanese chipmaker. The fab process of the A16 Bionic chip is believed to be the same that is used for manufacturing the A15 Bionic chip on last year’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models. Apple is also said to use the same process technology for the chip available in its next-generation MacBook Air models that are expected to debut ahead of the iPhone 14 launch — maybe as early as June this year.

Citing TSMC roadmap and public announcements, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has tweeted to suggest that the A16 Bionic chip would be based on the N5P logic node that was earlier used for manufacturing the A15 Bionic chip. The analyst said that Apple would, though, still call the new processor the A16 Bionic for marketing purposes.

However, Kuo did indicate that there could be slight improvements in performance and power-saving on the A16 over the existing A15 Bonic.

Kuo previously speculated that while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in the lineup would come with the A16 Bionic chip, the iPhone 14 models would use the same A15 SoC that is available on the iPhone 13 series.

The latest comments by the analyst suggest that Apple would not be able to deliver significant chip-level performance differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models as both would use the chips based on the same 5nm process technology. Nevertheless, the company does have a record of optimising user experiences by refining the software side of things.

Kuo also suggested that similar to the iPhone 14 Pro models, the new MacBook Air versions would continue to use the same CPU architecture that is available on the M1 chip, which is the same as on the A15 Bionic SoC.

Some previous reports mentioned that Apple would use the M2 chip on its new MacBook Air models. Kuo believes that while the M2 series with a significant performance boost over the M1 chip is quite likely to appear on the next 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro model, the Cupertino company may eventually introduce the new MacBook Air with a CPU carrying the M2 title to enhance its marketing.

The prime reason for predicting why Apple is not likely to bring any noticeable performance upgrade this time is the fact that TSMC is not expected to bring the N3 and N4P logic nodes for mass production until 2023. The company has the N5P and N4 technologies that both do not include any significant differences. It, thus, makes sense for Apple to continue to use the N5P process.