Apple is supposed to start getting 3nm chips from TSMC later this year, but they will arrive too late to be used in the iPhone 14 series, which will be released in less than six weeks. Once Apple starts using 3nm chipsets next year, you won’t find them in all iPhones until 2024. For people who don’t know how this terminology works, 3nm is the most recent process node that is used to make the most advanced chips available right now. The number shows how many transistors a chip has. The lower the number, the more transistors it has. The more transistors a chip has, the more powerful it is and the less energy it uses.
It is expected that TSMC’s 4nm production node would be used to produce the A16 Bionic chip that powers the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro versions. The 5nm A15 Bionic featured in all iPhone 13 series phones will be used in the non-Pro variants. The A15 Bionic, with 15 billion transistors in each chip, is no 98-pound weakling. In contrast, Apple has always used the most recent technology to power all of its new iPhone models.
Even though many consumers are unaware of the AP (applications processor) that drives their phones, some may believe that they are being ripped off by paying more for a new phone with a chipset that is one generation old. The A15 Bionic is still powerful enough for individuals who are unaware of their iPhone’s specifications to not notice any problems. Since Apple won’t adopt 3nm chipsets in all iPhone models until 2024, the odds favor Apple repeating this next year with the iPhone 15 Pro models using 3nm A17 Bionic chips and the non-Pro variants powered by 4nm A16 Bionic.
Even if Apple does get around to installing 3nm chips in both the Pro and non-Pro versions of the iPhone 16 in 2024, distinct versions of these chips might still be utilized to differentiate the premium iPhone models from the more inexpensive ones. It would appear that this is a tactic that will continue to be used.
TSMC isn’t just making 3nm circuits for Apple; it’s also working with other chip designers. AMD, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and other chipmakers should be able to use 3nm silicon produced by the world’s largest independent foundry by 2024.