Apple and Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have been partners for a very long time. The powerful A14 Bionic chip for iPhone 12 series and M1 Apple Silicon are both manufactured by TSMC on its advanced 5nm process. Now, Nikkie Asia reports that Apple and Intel will be the first companies to adopt TSMC’s next-generation silicon built on a 3nm process by 2022.
TSMC is the only foundry in the world, currently, to produce silicon on a 5nm process. Previously, DigiTimes claimed that move chip built on 3nm process in the mass production phase by end of 2021. The report explains that the “Nanometer refers to the width between transistors on a chip. The smaller the number, the more advanced the chip, but also the more challenging and expensive they are to build.” Therefore, in comparison to the already powerful 5nm process, the 3nm technology will drastically improve the processor’s performance by 10% to 15% will reduce power consumption by 25% to 30%.
Apple to adopt TSMC’s new chips built on 3nm process for upcoming iPad models launching in 2022
People familiar with the matter told the published that Apple will use the TSMC’s new processor for iPad line-up and Intel will use it for upcoming notebooks and data center servers.
Apple’s iPad will likely be the first devices powered by processors made using 3-nm technology, sources said. The next generation of iPhones, which are to roll out next year, are expected to make use of the intermediate 4-nm tech for scheduling reasons.
Intel, America’s biggest chipmaker, is working with TSMC on at least two 3-nm projects to design central processing units for notebooks and data center servers in an attempt to regain market share it has lost to Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia over the past few years. Mass production of these chips is expected to begin by the end of 2022 at the earliest.
It is also mentioned that currently, Intel’s chip volume is more than Apple’s. The tech industry is facing a global chip shortage and TSMC is playing an important role in the crisis to keep Apple and the US automobile industry running by prioritizing their orders. The situation shows “how TSMC continues to be vital to U.S. companies’ chip ambitions, even as Washington attempts to bring more semiconductor production to American soil.”