Apple chipmaking partner TSMC is gearing up to start production of its 3nm chip in the second half of 2022. This will allow the supplier to be ready for Apple products expected to launch in 2023 with the new technology.
TSMC on track to start 3nm chip production later this year
DigiTimes reports that the chipmaker is on track to begin volume production of its 3nm chips in the second half of this year:
“We expect the ramp of N3 to be driven by both HPC [high performance computing] and smartphone applications,” said Wei during an April 14 earnings conference call. “We continue to see a high level of customer engagement at N3 and expect more new tape-outs for N3 for the first year as compared with N5 and N7.”
As per the report, the chipmaker is expected to process 30,000-35,000 wafers manufactured using 3nm process technology monthly. Apple will use the new chips for iPhones, iPads, and Macs in 2023. It is expected that the tech giant will release iPhone 15 models with A17 chips and Macs with M3 chips.
The move to more advanced technology is expected to result in improved performance and higher efficiency, enabling faster speeds and long battery life in future Apple products. According to TSMC, 3nm chips can increase processing performance by 10% to 15% compared to 5nm technology, while reducing power consumption by 25% to 30%.
Apple’s M3 chips are rumored to feature up to four dies, which will allow up to a 40-core CPU. In contrast, its M1 chip has an 8-core CPU while the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have 10-core CPUs.
The chipmaker also says it is on track to move N3E, an enhanced version of N3, to volume production in the second half of this year. In addition, TSMC’s next-generation N2 (2nm) process development is also on track and is expected to enter risk production at the end of 2024 followed by volume production in 2025.