Over the past several months, there have been many rumors from reputable sources claiming that Apple will almost certainly be forced to miss the plan to introduce 3nm processor line on its products in 2022. source from TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, and a trusted longtime partner of Apple. The Taiwanese manufacturer then admitted it was having problems deploying its 3nm chip production lines, also known as N3.
This means that the technology expected to be used to mass produce the A16 Bionic processor for the iPhone 14 series launched in 2022 has malfunctioned, thus forcing a delay and Apple is likely to continue. uses existing technology (with a few minor tweaks) instead.
That scenario is more likely to happen, but in a more positive direction. According to a report from Digitimes, TSMC seems to have fixed the problem with the N3 line, and is starting trial production of Apple M3 chips using 3nm technology at the company’s Fab 18 complex in the south. Taiwan. Notably, the source also said that TSMC is also considering moving this process to the phase of mass production as soon as 2022.
However, according to experts, it is difficult for the 3nm A16 Bionic to be available on the iPhone 14 launched in September next year. In turn, this chip will most likely appear on some iPad models and even MacBooks released in early 2023. 3nm technology will ensure improved performance and power consumption of the chip. The quality will also be better. This helps manufacturers further optimize the thin and light design of the product.
Some sources said that TSMC is likely to produce about 3 million 3nm chips in the second half of next year, and these chips will most likely be for Apple. Apple is currently TSMC’s biggest partner, so priorities are inevitable. But since the M3 chip generation may only launch in 2023, Apple is expected to shift its A16 Bionic CPU orders to the 4nm process, with production scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of next year. 2021
Like TSMC, Samsung is also facing production capacity issues in its 3nm GAA process. Therefore, TSMC will likely still maintain a competitive advantage over the Korean giant, at least for the time being.
Besides technology-related problems, the current chip shortage also has a great impact on manufacturers’ plans in the near future.