Apple is expected to receive 3nm chips from TSMC later this year, but they will arrive too late to be used in the iPhone 14 series, which will be unveiled in less than six weeks. And once Apple starts using 3nm chipsets next year, you won’t find them in all iPhones until 2024. For those unfamiliar with this nomenclature, 3nm is the latest process node used to produce the most advanced chips available today. The lower the number, the higher the number of transistors in a given chip. The more transistors in a chip, the more powerful and energy-efficient it is.
The new iPhone 14 Pro models will be powered by the A16 Bionic, which will be manufactured by TSMC using the latter’s 4nm process node. The non-Pro models will reuse the 5nm A15 Bionic that is located under the hood of all iPhone 13 series phones. With 15 billion transistors in each chip, the A15 Bionic is no 98-pound weakling. But Apple has traditionally used the latest chip to power all the latest iPhone models when they are released.
TSMC will start shipping 3nm chipsets later this year
While many consumers have no idea which Applications Processor (AP) powers their phones, some may feel they are being ripped off by paying a higher price for a new phone with a one-generation chipset. The A15 Bionic is still powerful enough that those unaware of their iPhone’s specs are unlikely to notice any issues. Since Apple won’t be using 3nm chipsets in all iPhone models until 2024, the odds are good Apple will repeat this next year with the iPhone 15 Pro models that use 3nm A17 Bionic chips and the non-Pro models powered by the 4nm A16 Bionic.
Even if Apple gets around to putting 3nm chips in both Pro and non-Pro versions of the iPhone 16 by 2024, different versions of these chips could still be used to differentiate the expensive iPhone models from the more expensive iPhone models. affordable. This seems to be a strategy that will stay here.
Apple isn’t the only chip designer for whom TSMC makes 3nm chips. By 2024, the world’s largest independent foundry should roll out 3nm silicon for AMD, MediaTek, Qualcomm and others.