Apple Has Already Secured 3nm Chip Production From TSMC for Future iPhone, Mac and iPad Models
Currently, Apple leads the chip industry in terms of lithography, as it was the first company to launch a 5nm chipset, which nearly all of you know as the A14 Bionic. Later, the tech giant followed it up with the M1, found in the newest Mac models. However, a fresh report claims that Apple wants to be one step ahead of the competition, which is why it has secured all of TSMC’s 3nm production.
Initial Batch of 3nm Chips Secured by Apple, but Report Says TSMC Will Have to Sell Several Millions of These to Make a Profit
With a previous report stating that Apple has secured 80 percent of TSMC’s 5nm orders for 2021, UDN states that the California-based company has gone one step ahead of the competition and secured orders for 3nm chips too. However, we’re likely to see the new chips for the iPhone, Mac, and iPad arrive in 2022, so there’s a lot of time to see what this silicon can do.
So far, TSMC’s trial production is going according to plan, with around 600,000 processors expected to be produced annually, making it 50,000 per month. Mass production could start in 2022, but there remains one small problem. With the amount of investment TSMC has made to produce 3nm chips for various clients, including Apple, UDN mentions that the company will need to sell a minimum of 300 million processors to make a profit.
It’s not confirmed how many overall orders Apple intends on securing with TSMC. Still, considering the iPhone giant sells products in the millions, TSMC can rely on its lucrative business partner to cover up most of its investment. As for the benefit of 3nm technology, TSMC previously mentioned that we should expect between 20-25 improved power efficiency from future processors.
It’s also reported that TSMC’s biggest rival in the chip development race, Samsung, is making a jump directly from 5nm to 3nm. We don’t know if the performance and power efficiency rating of the Korean giant’s own technology will be sufficient to overtake what TSMC has to offer soon, but we’ll keep you updated. Next year, Apple’s A15 Bionic will likely be made on TSMC’s N5P architecture, offering a small performance and efficiency gain over the current-generation 5nm node used to make the A14 Bionic M1 silicon.
News Source: UDN