Apple likely to announce A11X with octa-core CPU; will be manufactured on TSMC's 7 nm process

Apple is likely to launch the next version of its in-house processor with an octa-core CPU according to reports.

The smartphone giant is likely to launch the rumoured A11X processor, a successor to its A11 Bionic processor in coming weeks. According to a report by GSMArena, the company usually launched the X version for the new generation of iPad.

The report further points out that the rumoured processor is expected to pack CPUs manufactured using TSMC’s 7 nm manufacturing process. The new processor is likely to be powered by three high-power Monsoon cores and five high-efficiency Mistral cores. It will start shipping around the first quarter in 2018 which aligns with the launch of rumoured iPad Pro 2018 series.

For perspective, the A11 Bionic chip was the first hexa-core chip from Apple. The chip features a 6-core CPU, a 3-core GPU and an M11 motion co-processor. The 6-core CPU comprises of 2x high-performance cores and 4x energy-efficiency cores. This is two more than what you get with the previous generation. In total, the A11 Bionic chip is made up of over 4.3 billion transistors.

For comparison, the previous generation A10 chip housed around 3.3 billion transistors and one of Android’s best processing platforms, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, is home to 3 billion.

Apple is expected to go with Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC for the development of the chip because of the close relationship that the two companies share. TSMC is the same company that has manufactured all Apple SoC in recent years.

One thing to note here is that A11X is expected to lay the groundwork for the technology that will be used to manufacture the 7 nm-based A12 chipset that will power the next generation of iOS devices.