Apple’s M3, A17 Bionic for Next Year Rumored to Use TSMC’s Second-Generation 3nm Process, Bringing Better Performance, Power Savings

Sep 14, 2022 12:49 AM EDT
Apple’s M3, A17 Bionic for Next Year Rumored to Use TSMC’s Second-Generation 3nm Process, Bringing Better Performance, Power Savings

We have known for a while that Apple will eventually hop on over to TSMC’s 3nm architecture for future chipsets. However, one report claims that the A17 Bionic and M3 will take a larger leap and will be mass-produced on the second-generation 3nm process instead of the first iteration.

Apple May Use TSMC’s First 3nm Chip Iteration for the M2 Pro and M2 Max Intended for the Updated MacBook Pro Models

TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process is also known as N3E, and a Nikkei report claims that both the A17 Bionic and M3 will be based on that cutting-edge technology. The M3 will be used in future Macs, while the A17 Bionic is rumored to remain exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. As for the first iteration of TSMC’s 3nm process, it is possible that Apple’s updated high-end MacBook Pro are outfitted with the M2 Pro and M2 Max that are mass-produced on the latter’s node.

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However, an earlier report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the new MacBook Pro could feature chipsets based on the 5nm process, not 3nm. Upcoming iPad chips may also take advantage of TSMC’s first-generation 3nm process, though the specific models were not mentioned. The improved power savings attribute of N3E means that the Apple Watch lineup, which has used the same chipset for the previous three generations, may finally get a worthy upgrade, delivering exceptional battery life.

Alongside the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple is expected to launch the less expensive iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. According to previous predictions, the less premium members of the iPhone 15 series will be treated to the same A16 Bionic that currently powers the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, implying that Apple will not gravitate to TSMC’s first-generation 3nm technology, but stick with the 4nm variant.

We cannot wait to see what benefits are witnessed from using next-generation chip manufacturing technology to mass produce the M3 and A17 Bionic, so stay tuned for more updates.

Source: Nikkei

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