iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic set to blow Snapdragon 875 out the water

We know the iPhone 12 will be Apple's fastest phone yet, but now we have an idea of just how fast...

iPhone 12
(Image credit: svetapple.sk)

While there are still some mysteries about the iPhone 12 to be answered, the chip powering things is pretty much nailed on. The Apple A11 powered the iPhone X, the A12 was in the iPhone Xs, and the A13 was front and center for the iPhone 11. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the upcoming iPhone 12 will be getting the A14 chip.

It’s also not a great leap to say that the A14 chip will be the fastest processor Apple has ever had – but now we have an idea of exactly how much better. And it’s looking very promising indeed.

TSMC – the manufacturer of the Apple-designed chips – held its annual tech symposium earlier this week, and took the opportunity to share the appeal of its new 5-nanometer process which is likely to be used in the A14 processor.  

While the chip in question isn’t referred to by name for obvious reasons, the chart below (via Anandtech) shows the difference between the company’s 7 nanometer and the 5 nanometer silicone, in terms of performance. In short, you’re looking at a 15% boost in performance, with 30% less power draw. 

A chart showing the performance gains of TSMC's 5nm mobile chips

(Image credit: TSMC chart)

This all confirms what we’ve heard about the iPhone 12’s CPU from previous reports, but the chart also reveals what we can expect in years to come. 

On the far right, you’ll see reference to a potential 3nm design, which should offer another 10-15% improvement on performance, while taking off another 25-30% of power drain. That chip is listed as being for the second half of 2022, so it’s probably heading for the iPhone 14 – just in time for your two-year iPhone 12 contract to expire.

We shouldn’t have too much longer to wait for the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch 6 to be revealed. Despite the fallout from Covid-19, rumors are still pointing to a September event, though there may be more of a delay before units go on sale