New chip from Taiwan's TSMC boosts Apple iPad Air performance by 40%

A14 the first processor in industry to use TSMC’s 5 nanometer process technology

Apple iPad Air 

Apple iPad Air  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Apple’s iPad Air tablets will come equipped with the company’s new A14 Bionic processor produced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), giving them a significant performance boost.

According to Apple, the A14 comes with a 6-core design for a 40 percent boost in CPU performance and a 4-core graphics setup for a 30 percent improvement in graphics. The A14 is the first in the industry to use TSMC’s 5 nanometer (nm) process technology, which has enabled Apple to cram in more circuitry than with the previous 7 nm process.

This added circuitry allows for more computing capabilities as well as doubled performance on artificial intelligence work done by the new processor, capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second. The A14 comes packed with 11.8 billion transistors in total.

“This is the first opportunity we get to look at the impact of TSMC’s 5nm process,” CNET cited Real World Technologies analyst David Kanter as saying. He added that he is interested in seeing how much of the improved performance comes from TSMC’s newer technology and how much comes from Apple’s chip design.

Apple has said the new chip is up to two times faster than the most popular Windows laptop, three times faster than the fastest Android tablet, and six times faster than the fastest Chromebook, according to Techcrunch.

The new iPad Air will go on sale in October at and on the Apple Store app in 30 countries and regions.

Wi-Fi models of the tablet will start at US$599 (NT$17,484) and Wi-Fi plus cellular models at US$729. They will be available in silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.