Apple working on 3nm chips for 2022 Mac, iPad, iPhone

This year, Apple announced its plan to move away from Intel chips to using its own silicon in the Mac. The MacBook Air, the base model 13” MacBookPro, and the Mac Mini are the first three consumer Macs to be powered by Apple’s first chip for the Mac – M1. However, Apple appears to be already gearing up for 3nm chips for its future products.

GSMArena reports that Apple has begun charting out a plan for the next generation 3nm chips with its chip manufacturing partner TSMC. According to the report, Apple has already “secured” a major portion of the orders for 3nm chips scheduled to be manufactured in 2022.

A generational leap towards efficiency

The 3nm chips will be used in the upcoming iPads and Macs, adds GSMArena. At present, the Mac and the iPad are at their closest – there are so many similarites. Earlier this year, Apple updated the iPad Pro with a modified A12Z chip. Few months after that, the company released a Developer Transition Kit (DTK) Mac Mini powered by the same A12Z chip.

iPad Air 4 A14 Processor
A14 Bionic powers iPhone 12 and iPad Air (2020)

Apple will very likely continue to use 5nm or 5nm+ chips for its products in 2021. As the report by GSMArena states that Apple’s 3nm chips won’t make it to the market until 2022. The fact that the Mac, the iPad, and the iPhone all use the same ARM architecture, all the product lines could use the same 3nm chips with tweaked performance levels.

The M1 chip in the new Macs is built using a 5nm process – the first of its kind in the personal computing world. Having a lower nanometer (nm) lithography process equals to having more transistors in the same space. Apple has said that it will take two years for the Mac to transition from Intel to its own homegrown Apple Silicon. By then, the 3nm chips could also be ready.

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