Apple moves one step closer to iPhone XI launch with next-gen SoC production start

Apple moves one step closer to iPhone XI launch with next-gen SoC production start
It's no big secret that Apple is hard at work on three new iPhones meant to replace the popular XS, XS Max, and XR sometime in the fall, but you may not have realized just how close the next-gen trio actually is to a production start. Bloomberg is highlighting the imminence of the iPhone XI, XI Max, and iPhone XR 2 (names obviously to be confirmed) in a fresh report offering a peak behind the curtain of the A13 chip design process.

Following in the footsteps of a blazing fast Apple A12 SoC used on the entire 2018 iPhone lineup, the A13 is likely to be manufactured by TSMC under the close supervision of the Cupertino-based tech giant, which is naturally in charge of the chipset's design. The usual performance upgrades are therefore expected from the new iPhone family, which should be able to easily fend off the Android-running competition in terms of raw speed.

Test production already underway, mass manufacturing right around the corner


Before getting too excited, keep in mind we're still talking about the aforementioned TSMC-made Apple A13 processor, not the actual next-gen iPhones. The production of the three handsets is not expected to kick off for a few more months, following various key preparatory supply chain moves. One of those is the A13's "early test production", which purportedly started last month, with the chipset's mass-production scheduled for "as early as this month."

Apple moves one step closer to iPhone XI launch with next-gen SoC production start

While the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is a very experienced "pure-play" chip maker, not to mention a seasoned and trusted Apple partner, you can never be too careful when it comes to setting the stage for an iPhone release. Compared to the A12, the Apple A13 is tipped to add a groundbreaking technology called extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) into the equation, aiming for a larger than usual increase in both performance and energy efficiency.

Of course, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei's next-gen flagship SoCs could also adopt the 7nm EUV process, but if recent history is any indication, none of those chips will be able to keep up with the A13. TSMC's stellar components from previous years likely gave the Taiwanese company the edge over Samsung, which was once again in contention, ultimately losing another big contract after the A12, A11, and A10. 2015's A9 was the last Apple-designed SoC where Samsung obtained a slice of the production pie.

iPhone XI camera technology and reverse wireless charging


Apart from unsurprisingly sharing a state-of-the-art Apple A13 processor, this year's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR sequels are today tipped to offer a feature that "lets users charge the latest AirPods and other devices by putting them on the back of the new iPhones." If that sounds familiar, it's probably because the Huawei Mate 20 Pro launched last fall with reverse wireless charging functionality, followed by Wireless PowerShare integration into Samsung's Galaxy S10 lineup.

Apple moves one step closer to iPhone XI launch with next-gen SoC production start

It's also not the first time we're hearing this particular rumor for 2019 iPhones, and the same goes for a triple rear camera setup expected to be accommodated by the iPhone XI and XI Max, while the iPhone XR 2 is widely speculated to settle for a dual shooter arrangement, which would still include one extra imaging sensor compared to the original XR.

Bloomberg's inside sources add even more fuel to the square-shaped camera array fire for the iPhone 11, also forecasting a bump in overall thickness of "about half a millimeter" for the XS and XS Max successors. In terms of actual capabilities, the third shooter on the high-end variants is rumored to produce "larger and more detailed photos" with an ultra-wide-angle lens joining the regular and telephoto sensors. Meanwhile, all three 2019 models should up the zoom ante, although Apple may need to do something special to catch up to Huawei in that particular field. 

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28 Comments

1. LawnBoy

Posts: 133; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Lol..

2. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Now here’s comes the usual trolling. Same as every year.

7. Tipus

Posts: 801; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Pot calls kettle :)))

3. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2128; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I’m thinking GB4 scores of 5500/18000. I don’t think multiscore will best the A12X. It will still will be above the competition. I could be wrong. Who knows.

8. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1239; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

More likely 5200/14000. TSMC's converted 7nm EUV production process isn't quite as advanced as Samsung's so gains won't be remarkable. I also doubt there will be much change to the design of the CPU, but mostly the GPU and if you've looked at the year after year diminished performance increase with every new A series SoC, the best you can expect is about a 400 point single core performance increase. Apple will likely adopt an octacore design next year.

10. Mike88

Posts: 150; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Ever heard about A12X? It shows how powerful apple chips can be. A13 will be even more powerful

26. Marcwand3l

Posts: 416; Member since: May 08, 2017

A12X is build specifically for tablets so it doesn't have the thermal and power limitations of a smartphone SOC. TSMC says 7nm Euv will have 10% better efficiency and around 17% area savings but they didn't say anything about performance(probably because it will be very similar to their current 7nm). The A13 will probably be from 10-20% faster. Nothing remarkable anyway.

11. apple-rulz

Posts: 1901; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

"TSMC's converted 7nm EUV production process isn't quite as advanced as Samsung's". Please explain, in your own words, what part(s) and why TSMC's process isn't as advanced as Samsung's.

13. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Because EUV fabrication is the most advanced. Go Google ot. He doesnt have to explain. This is why Samsung took longer to get to 7NM, because they chose to wait until they had the capability to do the advanced process vs baby-stepping. Apple doesn't make chips, so they dont know anything other than what TSMC tells them. Go read for yourself. Yountrolls know how to Google. Google what you dont know.

18. apple-rulz

Posts: 1901; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Ok Techiexp, then you be a good boy, go Google it, then come back and try to explain yourself.

19. iloveapps

Posts: 582; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Apple doesn’t make displays too but when they calibrated the display for their phones are much better than Samsung.

27. Marcwand3l

Posts: 416; Member since: May 08, 2017

Well Samsung build their 7nm to use EUV from the start. So it offers the advantages of a completely new lithography tech. Ignoring performance, efficiency and area savings, their 7nm process also simplifies design by reducing the number of required layers, increased yields. It will be interesting to see if Qualcomm moves back to Samsung with the next Snapdragon if they will have a new intermediary SOC(like the S821 was) in the second half of this year.

22. dvlprr

Posts: 41; Member since: May 08, 2019

Wtf. How Will the A13 Be Slower Than A12X. That's Dumb. It Will Probably Be 6200/18400

25. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1239; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Prepare to be disappointed

4. Poptart2828

Posts: 333; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Very divisive design.

5. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1238; Member since: May 01, 2017

I'm very curious to see what the end result can produce especially against the Pixel camera.

6. Poptart2828

Posts: 333; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I'm not sure apple can close the distance. They are so far behind right now

9. whatev

Posts: 2135; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Define “They are so far behind right now”

14. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Claimed powerful chip only pushing 848p displays High benchmarks, but devices are all one trick ponies. Samsung phones, benchmark less; yes do more and are still as fast or faster in everything. Better battery life too even with high res displays, more features and capabilities. Apple 6.1" phone only had a 29xx battery. What a joke. Samsung has 3500 batteries in a 5.7" phone 3 years ago. How is the Apple battery so small when Apple has less things inside. Samsung still has a headphone Jack, reverse wireless charging, bigger cameras modules and more. You know they are behind. You just to much of a fanboy to say it. Oh and they are far behind in sales where 3 OEMs are now ahead. Samsung still on that 300M sales pace while Apple capped at 220M and falling.

16. QuantumRazer

Posts: 36; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

"Samsung phones, benchmark less; yes do more and are still as fast or faster in everything" Using Lightroom, my iPhone 6s(not XS!) can process and save photos just as fast as my P30 does with performance mode turned enabled, and Kirin 980 is roughly on par with Snapdragon 855 and faster than Exynos 9820 in terms of CPU performance. And as for GPU, apparently SD855 is slower than throttled A12 according to Anandtech. So please, explain to me in detail how iPhone XS can be slower than Galaxy S10 or in this case any Android phones aside from the opening speed of lightweight apps(which is generally slightly faster on high end Androids partially due to quicker animations).

28. NinoH

Posts: 130; Member since: Feb 09, 2018

What in the Lords name are you on!?!Who said that iphones have only 900p displays,iphone XS and ipads have much better resolution then XR and they still crush benchmarks. And Samsung phones have more technology in them is a joke. Iphones have 3d touch and face id which are substantial technologies that take a lot of space in a phone,and concerning smaller batteries that just testifies how much better optimized ios is compred to android. I have an XS Max and after owning Nexus 5x, S7edge and S8 i can say the phone is a beast compared to competition. Only the Pixel has better camera then iphone that ot due to software mostly, even the P30 left me disappointed after trying it out.

20. whatev

Posts: 2135; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

One question Techie, who asked for your undesirable opinion filled with your typical specs spewing?

23. dvlprr

Posts: 41; Member since: May 08, 2019

Everyone Is a Fanboy If He Likes Something.

24. dvlprr

Posts: 41; Member since: May 08, 2019

Android Is Still Flawed. It's Just Sped Up Animations Make You Think Android Phones Are Faster. iPad Pro 2018 Will Full Photoshop With Full PSD Files and Hundreds Of Layers.

12. redmd

Posts: 1910; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I don't like the design of the back. But people will probably like it.

15. Jrod99

Posts: 703; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

It will probably grow on people. I hated all the duel camera designs but finally look ok. But with current A12 being so powerful I wont be upgrading for 2 more years.

17. QuantumRazer

Posts: 36; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

So basically Mate 20 Pro camera shape but placed on the corner instead of the centre. It looks absolutely hideous but I bet many other companies will start copying this design after its launch.

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