Apple Purchases Whole Stock of TSMC’s 3nm Chips for iPhone 15 Pro and M3 Macs

Recent articles

All orders for N3, the first-generation 3-nanometer process from TSMC that will likely be used in the forthcoming iPhone 15 Pro series and new MacBooks set to be on sale in the second half of 2023, have reportedly been secured by Apple.

TSMC's 3nm Ch ip_

Notwithstanding the higher costs and the fall in the foundry’s utilization rate in the first half of 2023, Apple has reportedly acquired 100% of the initial N3 supply, which is expected to have a high yield. In late December, TSMC’s 3nm process began mass manufacturing. According to the report’s sources, the foundry has gradually increased process capacity, and March will see a monthly output of 45,000 wafers.

Since the A17 Bionic processor is expected to power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Plus models, Apple is commonly anticipated to use TSMC’s 3nm technology this year. The power efficiency of the A16 Bionic chip, which powers the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, is increased by 35% using 3nm technology instead of 4nm.

The last two iPhone models were the first smartphones with chips made using the 4nm process. With models built on the newest cutting-edge semiconductor technology, Apple hopes to be the first to market again.

In the second half of 2023, Apple intends to unveil a new MacBook Air, which could include a 3nm CPU, according to a DigiTimes report from January. Ross Young, an expert for the display business, stated in December that a 15-inch MacBook Air would be delivered in the first half of 2023. The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 CPUs based on 3nm technology will instead debut in the second half of 2023, according to DigiTimes’ forecast.

Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst, predicts that the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros released in 2024 will come with M3 Pro and M3 Max CPUs made using TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing process. According to Kuo, the first half of 2024 will see the widespread production of MacBook Pro versions with the M3 Pro and M3 Max CPUs.

TSMC's 3nm Chip_

Comparatively to chips produced on a 5-nanometer process, such as the M2 Pro found in Apple’s current high-end Mac mini and the M2 Pro and M2 Max featured in its most recent 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, the 3nm technology will offer better performance and power efficiency.

In the second half of this year, TSMC plans to transition to N3E, an improved version of N3, its first-generation 3nm technology. According to a different DigiTimes article, Apple will be the first client to use the method. Nikkei Asia claimed in September that Apple would use N3E for products coming as early as this year, but this is the only publication that has confirmed this timeline.

Leave a Reply