People claiming to be familiar with TSMC's operations are saying that the company has kicked off production of the next generation processors for the new iPhone models that will land later this year. The processor is expected to be called the A12 and it will reportedly use a 7nm design. This new design will be more power efficient, smaller, and faster than the 10nm A11 chips that are currently in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Gains in battery life and performance are important for Apple; the smartphone industry is stagnating as users have stopped upgrading devices due to miniscule upgrades from model to
TSMC was tipped to have started its 7nm chip production in late April and scuttlebutt at the time suggested that the process node could be used for processor destined for the PlayStation 5. It now seems more likely that the bulk of the chips in production are for the next generation iPhone smartphones.
If the sources inside TSMC are correct, this means that Apple will be among the first companies in the tech world to cram 7nm chips inside its devices. Apple certainly won't be alone in the move to 7nm technology; Samsung is also said to be working on similar tech for its smartphone processors (Exynos family) and Qualcomm will no doubt adopt 7nm for its Snapdragon processors.
Apple is expected to launch three new iPhones this year including a larger version of the iPhone X, a revised version of the current iPhone X, and a third cheaper device. That very anticipated lower cost iPhone is tipped to have the features of the iPhone X, but pack in an LCD screen.