Apple orders full supply of TSMC 3nm chipsets for iPhone 15 Pro and M3 Mac

Apple has reportedly secured all available orders for the N3, TSMC’s first-generation 3nm process that will likely be used in the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro lineup as well as new MacBooks due in the second half of 2023.

According to the paywall system DigiTimes According to the report, Apple purchased 100% of the initial supply of N3, which is said to have a high yield, despite higher costs involved and lower foundry utilization rate in the first half of 2023. Mass production of TSMC’s 3nm process began in late December, the foundry has been expanding process capacity at a gradual pace with monthly production set to reach 45,000 wafers in March, according to report sources.

Apple is widely expected to adopt TSMC’s 3nm technology this year for the A17 Bionic chip that will likely power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. 3nm technology is said to offer a 35% improvement in power efficiency over 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

The last two iPhone models were the first smartphones to feature chips built on the 4nm process, and it seems that Apple is once again trying to be the first to release models based on the latest semiconductor technology.

Apple plans to release a new MacBook Air in the second half of 2023, and it may be equipped with a 3-nanometer chip, according to a January report from DigiTimes. However, display industry analyst Ross Young claimed in December that the 15-inch MacBook Air will be released in the first half of 2023. If DigiTimesThe outlook seems accurate, maybe 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 chips based on 3nm technology will be released in the second half of 2023 instead.

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Looking ahead, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros in 2024 will have M3 Pro and ‌M3‌ Max chips built on TSMC’s 3nm process. MacBook Pro models with the ‌M3‌ Pro and ‌M3‌ Max chipsets will enter mass production in the first half of 2024, according to Kuo.

3nm technology will provide improved performance and better power efficiency over existing chips built on the 5nm process, including the M2 Pro found in Apple’s current high-end Mac mini and the M2 Pro and ‌M2‌ Max used in the latest ‌14″ and M2 Pro. 16-inch MacBook Pro models.

TSMC is preparing to move its N3E — an improved version of the N3, the first generation of 3nm technology — into commercial production in the second half of this year, and Apple will be the first customer to adopt the process, according to Another report This week out DigiTimes. Nikki Asia I reported in September that Apple could adopt the N3E for devices launching as soon as this year, but we haven’t seen any other reports supporting that roadmap.

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