TSMC is about to launch the 3nm processor for Apple

The Taiwanese chipmaker that manufactures processors for Apple, TSMC, has confirmed that it will move to the long-awaited 3nm manufacturing process by the second half of 2022reports DigiTimes.

While it was no secret that TSMC and the Apple Silicon line would one day move to the 3nm process, there were concerns that TSMC would achieve these goals due to the global chip shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic. 19. However, in a recent earnings conference call, TSMC shut down all speculation and confirmed that it is now on track to start producing 3nm chips for Apple by the end of the year. ‘year. It would be just in time for equip Apple’s 2023 lineup with these next-gen processors. In case you didn’t know, Apple’s current-generation processors are based on the 5nm process that’s been around since 2020.

Given what we know about the current timeline, Apple’s next-generation iPhone models — the iPhone 14 series — are unlikely to move to 3nm chips. Instead, at least one report indicates that the first Apple product to switch to 3nm chips will likely be Apple’s next-generation iPad models. At the same time, this same report suggests that these iPad models could launch in 2022, and that timeline seems unlikely given the current global scenario.

In addition to enabling better performance, Apple’s 3nm chips made by TSMC should offer significant improvements in power consumption and transistor density. TSMC expects the move to a 3nm process to reduce power consumption figures by 25-30% and increase performance by 10-15% or more over existing 5nm designs.

The DigiTimes report adds that TSMC initially plans to manufacture between 30,000 and 35,000 3nm wafers per month once production begins.

2nm chips in 2025

Apple’s decision to use its next-generation iPads as a launch pad for its 3nm chips wouldn’t surprise many, given that it did the same a few years ago. If you recall, TSMC’s 5nm-based Apple A14 chip first appeared on the 2020 iPad Air, rather than any of the iPhone models from that year. That said, it’s safe to assume that most of Apple’s products for 2023 — including the iPhone 15 series and all Mac products with an Apple Silicon chip — could transition to 3nm technology by mid-year. -2023, and be in the hands of consumers by the end of that same year.

Even though Apple has a huge lead over the competition when it comes to ARM processors, the company is working with TSMC to accelerate development on the even faster and more efficient 2nm process. DigiTimes reports that TSMC expects chips based on the 2nm process to enter volume production by 2025. Generally, the smaller the process node, the more transistors go into a chip.

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