Apple supplier TSMC to start making 3nm chips soon

Apple chip manufacturing company TSMC is reportedly set to start manufacturing 3nm chips this year. However, the 3nm chips will likely not make it to the market this year, as the company is only going to begin “risk” output. The company will begin mass manufacturing next year for probable use in consumer products.

“Our N3 technology improvement is on keep track of with fantastic progress,” said TSMC CEO CC Wei on 14 January, at the company’s earnings conference. “We are viewing a considerably greater amount of shopper engagement for both HPC and smartphone software at N3 as compared with N5 and N7 at a very similar phase.”

5nm chips power the iPhone 12

TSMC currently manufactures the 5nm chips that power the iPhone, the iPad, and some of the Mac models. The current flagship iPhone 12 series uses the Apple designed A14 Bionic chip which is manufactured by TSMC. The iPad Air also uses the same 5nm A14 Bionic chip. 

Apple supplier TSMC to start making 3nm chips soon

Last year, Apple also released a new chips series – M series which will power Mac computers. The company released updated versions of the MacBook Air, the 13” base MacBook Pro, adn the Mac Mini – all powered by a new M1 chip. The M1 chip is also a 5nm chip, manufactured by TSMC.

Apple will reportedly use 5nm+ chips in the 2021 iPhones and also likely in some of the iPad models. Market research firm Trendforce believes that Apple will use 4nm chips in the 2022 iPhones. The 3nm chips could very likely be only used in the 2023 iPhones – the A17 chip if Apple continues to use the same naming scheme.

The Mac also now uses ARM based chips similar to the iPhones and the iPads, so 3nm chips will also very likely be used in Mac computers alongside the future iPhones. Apple is set to unveil a slew of new Macs powered by Apple silicon this year, very likely powered by 5nm chips.

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