TSMC starts production of next-gen iPhone chips

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.

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. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. Apple and TSMC spokeswomen declined to comment.

More-capable chips help smartphones run apps faster and last longer before having to be recharged, key advantages in a competitive industry that’s struggling to grow.

In April, TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said it started mass-producing 7-nanometer processors, but didn’t disclose it was building them for a specific partner.

Apple would be one of the first phone makers to use the new chip technology

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