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Apple ups orders for 5nm chips from TSMC, presumably for new iPhone

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Chipmaker TSMC has lost a significant order from Huawei, only to find Apple buying up all of its production capacity, for what is believed to be the "iPhone 12."

Apple has long been using supplier TSMC to manufacture its A-series processors, specifically 7-nanometer ones as used in iPhone XS's A12. Apple has also been known to be developing a 5nm processor with the company, and now industry sources report that orders have increased.

According to the China Taiwan Economic Daily, Apple has asked TSMC to produce almost 10,000 more processors in the fourth quarter of this year. The use of a 5nm processor and being produced in that quarter suggests that the order is for the A14 which is to be used in the iPhone 12.

The move reportedly follows Huawei's cancellation of approximately that same amount. While there is no indication from either TSMC or Huawei why the order was reduced, the phone maker is currently facing new criminal charges in the U.S., and has been substantially affected by the coronavirus.

TSMC is now said to have adjusted plans for its 5nm process because of the impact of COVID-19 on demand, though reportedly it remains on schedule.

The China Taiwan Economic Daily report citing unnamed industry sources, was first spotted by Chinese-language site IT Home.