Nikkei Asia reports that Apple’s M3 chip for Macs and A17 processor for iPhone 15 Pro will be made using TSMC’s N3E 3nm technology next year. Launch is expected in 2023.
N3E will increase performance and power efficiency over TSMC’s first-generation 3nm technology, N3.
Apple reportedly wants to employ TSMC’s first-generation 3nm technology for future iPad CPUs. Uncertain which iPad models the article refers to, but speculations claim Apple may update the iPad Pro next month with the M2 processor, which uses TSMC’s second-generation 5nm process. Later this year, an iPad with an A14 chip will be released.
Both A16 and A15 chips are created using the same 5nm technology, therefore the difference isn’t huge. Both chipsets employ the same technological node, although the A16 is branded as “4nm.”
This could change next year. NikkeyAsia reports that Apple’s A17 chip and the M3 processors in future MacBooks will use TSMC’s 3nm chipmaking process.
The iPhone 15 lineup will likely use the 3nm process in the second half of 2023. The A17 is the first 3nm smartphone SoC. Expect a larger raw performance disparity between the A17 and A16 than between the A16 and A15.
If Apple sticks to its new approach of employing the newest chipset just for “Pro” iPhones, we may see a large gap between the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro.