Apple’s long-term partner, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) began production of advanced 3nm chips at its Fab 18 at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) in late December 2022 and it was speculated that the Cupertino tech giant would be its biggest beneficiary.
Now, DigiTimes reports that Apple has ordered the entire supply of TSMC’s 3nm chip for upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and MacBook models.
A17 chip built on TSMC’s 3nm process to boost power efficiency by 35% in iPhone 15 Pro
According to the report, the tech giant has procured TSMC’s entire stock of initial N3 chips which reportedly have a high yield in spite of production challenges. The paywalled article viewed by MacRumors states:
Apple has procured 100% of the initial N3 supply, which is said to have a high yield, despite the higher costs involved and the decline in the foundry’s utilization rate in the first half of 2023. Mass production of TSMC’s 3nm process began in late December, and the foundry has scaled up process capacity at a gradual pace with monthly output set to reach 45,000 wafers in March, according to the report’s sources.
The new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to feature an A17 Bionic chip built on a 3nm process to deliver faster performance and up to 35% better power efficiency than the A16 Bionic chip built on an advanced 5nm process.
Chips carrying transistors with smaller line widths are generally more capable and power-efficient. TSMC said its 3nm processes offer better performance than its 5nm chips, while requiring about 35% less power. The 3nm technoloy will help create end products with a market value of $1.5 trillion within five years, said TSMC Chairman Mark Liu.
Furthermore, it is also claimed that Apple is going to launch a new 13-inch MacBook Air model with an M3 chip later this year. Although the tech company is also expected to launch its first 15-inch MacBook Air in the first of 2023, the new model would be equipped with an M2 chip built on an advanced 5nm process.
In the future, Apple is likely to use TSMC’s 3nm chips made in the United States. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Taiwanese manufacturer was preparing to invest in its second multibillion-dollar factory in Arizona to produce 3nm chips.