Evidence shows that Apple will unveil the first products equipped with technometric chips made by TSMC in 2023; Therefore, it is thought that the M3 and A17 chips will be made using this lithography. Using a more advanced process leads to improved performance and energy efficiency, and ultimately brings greater speed and charging to products.
It was recently revealed that some M3 chips have a maximum of four blocks and are based on three-nanometer lithography, and probably the highest configuration will include 40 CPU cores, which is much larger than current models. At present, Apple M series chips offer unparalleled performance per watt; While the A15 chip in the iPhone 13 models is the fastest processor ever in a smartphone; So moving to a 3nm process can maintain and even strengthen Apple’s superiority in this area.
Digitimes has previously reported, citing credible sources in Apple’s supply chain, that TSMC will mass-produce the 3nm process by the second half of 2022. In addition, the Taiwanese semiconductor industry giant appears to have begun “risky production” of a 3-nanometer chip by the end of 2021.
In risk production, the manufacturer in the contract for the manufacture of special silicone wafers develops instructions, prototypes and basic design kits and passes standard wafer surface tests; But does not produce the final product; In other words, at this stage, the prototype of the 3nm chip fabrication process is completed and tested; But the final product will not be mass-produced until its problems are discovered and solved.
The report comes as some analysts claim that Apple may use 5-nanometer chips in iPhones for the first time in three years; It should not be overlooked, however, that TSMC now also manufactures 4-nanometer processors, and previous reports have claimed that Apple has reserved the bulk of its lithography production capacity; Therefore, TSMC can mass-produce orders for the A16 processor using 4nm technology.
In general, it seems that Apple intends to use the most advanced chip manufacturing processes first in the M series and Mac computers and then in other chips. It seems that the M2 chip will be the first Apple chip to be made according to the 4-nanometer TSMC manufacturing process.