Though Apple has 3nm chips slated to arrive later this year, they are not reserved for the iPhone 14 lineup. In fact, according to the latest report, the technology giant is not expected to completely switch to TSMC’s 3nm architecture until 2024, making it a more extended transition than previously anticipated.
Apple May Use More a Powerful, Power-Efficient Version of TSMC’s 3nm Process for the Expensive iPhone 16 Pro, iPhone 16 Pro Max
For 2022, Apple is reported to introduce the A16 Bionic, which is said to be mass produced on TSMC’s 4nm architecture, but this chip will be reserved for the premium iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The less expensive iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are set to be treated to last year’s A15 Bionic. This rumored approach is not such a terrible deal, given that producing larger batches of 4nm A16 Bionic is costly and the more affordable iPhones cannot be sold at their current prices while still featuring cutting-edge chip technology.
Similarly, according to what TrendForce has reported, Apple completely switching to TSMC’s 3nm process for the 2024 iPhone 16 series possibly means that there will be major differences in next year’s iPhone 15 family too. Like the ‘Pro’ family, these expensive models arriving in 2023 will likely feature the 3nm A17 Bionic, while the non-Pro members could sport the same A16 Bionic present in the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
It is not until 2024 does TrendForce expect Apple to switch over to TSMC’s 3nm architecture completely, and even during that time, there might be some differences. According to the Taiwanese silicon manufacturer, its 3nm process will arrive in multiple variants, each a slightly improved successor, so the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max could feature the very best of what TSMC has to offer, while the regular iPhone 16 models may flaunt a less efficient version of the 3nm node.
However, it all depends on if TSMC can meet shipment requirements. Given that the manufacturer is slated to have several clients seeking its next-generation chips, fulfilling a massive number of orders in a given time for Apple may be challenging, but we will see what happens in a couple of years. For now, let us wait for the 3nm M2 Pro and M2 Max reported to arrive for various Macs later this year.