Report: Apple’s A17 and M3 Chips to Use TSMC’s New 3nm Process

Posted on September 14, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple with 10 Comments

Apple could be the first company to use TSMC’s new N3E process for its future A17 iPhone chip. Citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Nikkei Asia reported today that TSMC will make Apple’s upcoming 3nm A17 to be used on premium iPhones launch in fall 2023.

This year, the A16 chip in the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max use TSMC’s 4nm process. The company’s current 3nm technology is expected to start shipping in new products this year, but the improved N3E process Apple plans to use in its chips next year should be even better.

“N3E will offer better performance and energy efficiency than the first version of the tech, TSMC said in a recent technology symposium in Hsinchu. Industry sources said the upgraded production tech is also designed to be more cost-effective than its predecessor,” the report reads.

According to Nikkei Asia, TSMC’s N3E production technology will also be used on Apple’s upcoming M3 chip for Apple Silicon Macs. The M2 chip that recently made its debut in the 2022 MacBook Air and 13.3” MacBook Pro uses TSMC’s 5nm N5P process.

Apple is often recognized for pushing the envelope with its custom ARM chips, but that wouldn’t be possible without TSMC. The Cupertino giant remains TSMC’s largest customer, though according to DigiTimes, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and others are reportedly all planning to use TSMC’s 3nm production technology in the near future.

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