Apple Books Nearly 90% of TSMC’s 3nm Production Capacity for This Year


Apple has booked nearly 90% of chip supplier TSMC’s first-generation 3-nanometer process capacity this year for future iPhones, Macs, and iPads, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes, providing the Taiwanese foundry with significant growth momentum in the second half of 2023.

3nm apple silicon feature
Apple’s upcoming ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ models are expected to feature the A17 Bionic processor, Apple’s first ‌iPhone‌ chip based on TSMC’s first-generation ‌3nm‌ process, also known as N3B. The ‌3nm‌ technology is said to deliver a 35% power efficiency improvement and 15% faster performance compared to 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Apple’s M3 chip for Macs and iPads is also expected to use the ‌3nm‌ process. The first ‌M3‌ devices are expected to include an updated 13-inch MacBook Air and 24-inch iMac, both of which could arrive later this year. New iPad Pro models coming next year are likely to be powered by ‌M3‌ chips, while Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models coming in 2024 will feature ‌‌M3‌‌ Pro and ‌‌‌M3‌‌‌ Max chips.

According to an App Store developer log obtained by Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Apple is currently testing a new chip with a 12-core CPU, 18-core GPU, and 36GB of memory, which could be the base-level ‌M3‌ Pro for the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models launching next year.

According to The Information, future Apple silicon chips built on the ‌3nm‌ process will feature up to four dies, which would support up to 40 compute cores. The M2 chip has a 10-core CPU and the ‌‌M2‌‌ Pro and Max have 12-core CPUs, so ‌3nm‌ could significantly boost multi-core performance. At minimum, ‌3nm‌ should provide the biggest performance and efficiency leap to Apple’s chips since 2020.

TSMC is also working on an enhanced ‌3nm‌ process called N3E. Apple devices will eventually migrate to the N3E generation, which is expected to enter commercial production in the second half of 2023, but actual shipments will not ramp up until 2024, according to DigiTimes.



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