Apple’s A-Series chip charging map seems to be on the right track, as the company is working on smaller and smaller chip processes. TSMC’s latest news suggests that everything is according to plan for the revised 5nm process this year, the 4nm process (ish) in 2022 and the 3nm process in 2023.
We heard in January about TSMC’s plans for 3nm chips, and today’s new report has more information …
Digitimes says TSMC expects to be ready for large – scale production of 3nm chips by the second half of 2022.
TSMC is making rapid progress in its production processes, and is expected to move its N4, namely 4nm, node to risky production in the third quarter of 2021, with the N3-3nm node — to begin large-scale production at the world’s No. 1 foundry in the second. half of 2022
That time would be too short to see the chips to be used in iPhones next year, but it would mean they would be ready for use in 2023 models.
For this year’s iPhone phones, Apple is expected to stick to the 5nm process as the A14 chip in the iPhone 12, but in a more efficient form.
TSMC refers to 5nm + as the N5P and describes it as an improved performance version that will combine more power with improved energy efficiency to extend battery life (or, which could be more likely with Apple, allow lower capacity batteries).
Next year, Apple is expected to use a reduced version of the A15 chip, which provides an indirect way to increase performance.
Instead of being a completely new chip process, this is a way to reduce the size of an existing chip without major changes in its design. This gives more chips per board, which reduces production costs.
However, while this is not the right step toward process size, reduced chip size increases energy efficiency, and reduced heat creates room for improved real-life performance because the chip can run harder before thermal damping is required.
Today’s report notes that the continuing shortage of chips sees foundries like TSMC alerting their customers to price increases. However, Apple’s relationship with TSMC is close, contracts have been agreed years in advance, so the iPhone maker could avoid that.
Finally, Digitimes warns that Intel’s share of the notebook market is likely to fall to a record low as Apple abandons the company’s laptop CPUs in favor of its own Apple Silicon chips.
Photo: Jason Leung / Unsplash
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