Reportedly, the second-generation 3nm chip fabrication process of TSMC is named N3E. It is expected to be used in the iPhone 16 series. Notably, the Cupertino-based tech firm has already placed orders for the chips with TSMC. It is comparatively less expensive and improved than N3B, the TSMC’s 3nm process. It entered the smartphone market with the A17 Pro chip that is used in the iPhone 15 Pro series. In addition to improving chip performance, the N3E method also focuses on reducing power usage.
According to sources, the chip unit has begun the mass production of N3E. It is set to substitute the N3B by early next year. Almost all big chip suppliers have welcomed the upcoming N3E, except Samsung. Furthermore, Apple has already placed an order for the new chipsets.
This year’s supply of TSMC’s first-gen 3nm chips was largely dominated by Apple. In May 2023, it was reported that 90% of the production was reserved for Apple. Apple is now anticipated to use all of TSMC’s capacity in 2023 as a result of delays in Intel’s wafer requirements as a result of changes made to the company’s CPU platform design plans in the future.
Almost 4–6% of TSMC’s sales in the current year are projected to be from the 3nm chips, which account for almost $3.4 billion in sales for the foundry this year. The report claims that TSMC will boost the production of N3P by the second half of 2024. With 5% greater speed at the same leakage, 5%–10% power savings at the same speed, and 1.04x more chip density, N3P is supposed to provide N3E with an additional boost.
According to Jeff Pu, all four members of the iPhone 16 series will be powered by A18-branded chips. These chips are, of course, based on TSMC’s N3E node. In comparison, the current iPhone 15 models are powered by the A16 Bionic chips. An upgrade to A18 chips will be quite significant. Given that the iPhone 16 series won’t be available for over a year, Pu is presumably speculating about the marketing titles; it will be interesting to see if Apple adopts the A18 and A18 Pro branding.
Brian is the news author at Research Snipers which mainly covers Technology News, Microsoft News, Google News, Facebook, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, and other tech news.