2022 iPhones, Macs could boast 3nm chips

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2021
Some of the most important of devices of Apple's 2022 product lineup might get a major performance boost with the help of in-house designed silicon fabricated on TSMC's 3nm process, according to a report on Tuesday.

A14


Apple's current A14 and M1 chips are built on 5nm technology, but the company and its processor manufacturing partner TSMC are moving forward with plans to shrink die sizes down to 3nm.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes (via MacRumors) reports TSMC is on schedule to take its 3nm process to volume production in the second half of 2022. The chips will be bound for either iPhone or Mac, sources said.

Today's report provides clarity on previous claims regarding Apple's plans for the 3nm process aired in June. At the time, it was reported that TSMC was preparing the technology for risk assessment in 2021, to be followed by volume production in 2022, though no specific Apple product line was mentioned.

There is debate as to where the 3nm chips will end up. A recent report from Nikkei Asia said the silicon would debut in a 2022 iPad Pro model, while that year's iPhone would sport A-series processors fabricated using a 4nm process. Other outlets concurred that an "iPhone 14" would move to 4nm from the current 5nm process.

Rumors surrounding a 3nm M1 processor have been few and far between, but a report in December claims Apple gobbled up all of TSMC's 3nm production for A- and M-series chips slated to begin mass production in 2022.

When the silicon does see introduction, Apple's devices are expected to benefit from speed increases and energy savings. TSMC says its 3nm process boosts performance between 10% and 15% and offers a 20% to 25% bump in efficiency over current 5nm technology.

In the near term, Apple's "iPhone 13" is anticipated to debut with silicon off TSMC's enhanced 5nm node.

Read on AppleInsider
patchythepirate

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    robabarobaba Posts: 228member
    Don’t have any inside or industry knowledge here but shipping 3nm devices in 2022 seems a little optimistic.  Even if chips end up being produced in quantity in ‘22, they’ve still got to be installed in the products themselves, and Apple always wants to have plenty on hand to get the most out of the initial buying frenzy.  Nothing kills a party faster than running the keg dry.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
  • Reply 3 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    robaba said:
    Don’t have any inside or industry knowledge here but shipping 3nm devices in 2022 seems a little optimistic.  Even if chips end up being produced in quantity in ‘22, they’ve still got to be installed in the products themselves, and Apple always wants to have plenty on hand to get the most out of the initial buying frenzy.  Nothing kills a party faster than running the keg dry.
    Right — no way iPhones in 2022. Second half is too late.

    but Macs and iPads makes sense. Lower volume, more flexibility in release date. 
    muthuk_vanalingamrobabawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    I don’t know where I heard this but I believe they will switch to using angstroms. 0.1nm = 1Å, or 3nm = 30Å
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    KTRKTR Posts: 278member
    blastdoor said:
    robaba said:
    Don’t have any inside or industry knowledge here but shipping 3nm devices in 2022 seems a little optimistic.  Even if chips end up being produced in quantity in ‘22, they’ve still got to be installed in the products themselves, and Apple always wants to have plenty on hand to get the most out of the initial buying frenzy.  Nothing kills a party faster than running the keg dry.
    Right — no way iPhones in 2022. Second half is too late.

    but Macs and iPads makes sense. Lower volume, more flexibility in release date. 
    I agree with that
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    KITAKITA Posts: 392member
    Targeted production in the second half of 2022 would be too late for iPhone use. High volume manufacturing has typically started in April or May for previous iPhone chips.

    Apple's next iPhone will more likely use 4nm (N4 - an enhanced version of N5), that will go into volume production in 2022 (this is also at TSMC Fab 18, their main 5nm production facility).

    MediaTek and Qualcomm are likely to be the first to use TSMC's 3nm (N3) in smartphone chips.

    Use of a 3nm chip in a macOS computer might be possible in the later part of 2022.
    blastdoornetrox
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Chips that are so thin, if you drop them on the floor, they slide into the gaps between alternate universes. 
    edited August 2021 patchythepiratemike1lkruppTomPMRIrobaba
  • Reply 8 of 16
    Rayz2016 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Chips that are so thin, if you drop them on the floor, they slide into the gaps between alternate universes. 
    Don't you mean 'reality distortion field' rather than alternate universes?
  • Reply 9 of 16
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 1,012member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Chips that are so thin, if you drop them on the floor, they slide into the gaps between alternate universes. 
    Imagine if ants had half the brain that of dogs!
  • Reply 10 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
  • Reply 11 of 16
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,210member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Chips that are so thin, if you drop them on the floor, they slide into the gaps between alternate universes. 
    Chips so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo.
    mike1Rayz2016
  • Reply 12 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    I don’t know where I heard this but I believe they will switch to using angstroms. 0.1nm = 1Å, or 3nm = 30Å
    That’s Intel.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Chips that are so thin, if you drop them on the floor, they slide into the gaps between alternate universes. 
    Don't you mean 'reality distortion field' rather than alternate universes?
    No. A writer some years correctly said that Jobs didn’t have a reality distortion field. Rather, he had a reality creation field. I agree with that.
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 16
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,453member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    I wonder what’s next, onm chips??paper thin
    Paper is 100,000 nm thick.
    fahlmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    robabarobaba Posts: 228member
    blastdoor said:
    robaba said:
    Don’t have any inside or industry knowledge here but shipping 3nm devices in 2022 seems a little optimistic.  Even if chips end up being produced in quantity in ‘22, they’ve still got to be installed in the products themselves, and Apple always wants to have plenty on hand to get the most out of the initial buying frenzy.  Nothing kills a party faster than running the keg dry.
    Right — no way iPhones in 2022. Second half is too late.

    but Macs and iPads makes sense. Lower volume, more flexibility in release date. 
    Absolutely.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 16
    How long will it take TSMC to establish normal, full time production rates?  Maybe that means learning enough of all issues to determine how many can be produced in 2022, how much that can move up to in 2023 and then where will they be in 2024.  After the battles for processors in the auto industry I believe TSMC might be wary.


    watto_cobra
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