Some Apple fans are excited on recent reports that the company has already started ramping up smaller, more efficient processors to use in its next iPhone models.
The new processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company are said to be 7 nanometers instead of 10 nanometers, the current standard in Apple’s current high-end phones, and that could be good news in terms of speed and energy consumption. But why do these smaller chip sizes make a difference?
Smaller processors have several advantages in the semiconductor industry: manufacturers can make more at a time on a single silicon wafer at time. While not all processors are equal, in general, smaller chips means more, smaller transistors can be packed into a tinier space. Electrons have to travel a shorter distance, saving energy and time. That’s why smaller-nanometer processors are typically faster than larger ones and why newer generations of increasingly smaller processors can be speeder without using more energy. According to the computing term Moore’s Law, computing processor speeds double every two years, but it’s probably more accurate to say that the number of transistors on a chip is what’s actually increasing.
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