Apple Orders 4nm Chip Production for Next-Generation Macs

Apple has booked the initial production capacity of 4nm chips with long-time supplier TSMC for its next-generation Apple silicon, according to industry sources cited in a new report today from DigiTimes.

m1 4nm feature2
From today's report:

Apple has already booked the initial capacity of TSMC's N4 for its new-generation Mac series, the sources indicated. Apple has also contracted TSMC to make its next-generation iPhone processor dubbed A15, built using the foundry's N5 Plus or N5P process node, the sources said.

TSMC is expected to kick off production for Apple's A15 chip that will power the upcoming iPhone 13 series by the end of May, the sources noted.

The latest Apple silicon, the M1 chip, is the first of its kind in the industry based on the 5nm process. The A14 Bionic chip in the iPad Air and iPhone 12 lineup is also based on the 5nm process. According to the report, Apple is already looking to the 4nm chip process for its next-generation Apple silicon.

A timeframe for when these new 4nm chips will debut isn't provided, but DigiTimes does report that TSMC will move to volume production of the new process in Q4 of 2021, ahead of the previously set 2022 timeframe. Additionally, Apple plans to use an enhanced version of the 5nm process for the A15 chip in the iPhone 13, with production set to get underway by the end of May.

The smaller process reduces the chips' actual footprint and provides better efficiency and performance. Apple's expected to launch multiple new Macs this year with more powerful Apple silicon chips; however, there's no indication that any will be based on the 4nm process.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
20 months ago
Intel just left the chat.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chorion Avatar
20 months ago
Can't wait to ditch those bulky 5nm-based chips and the inefficient devices they power!
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumoore Avatar
20 months ago
Meanwhile Intel has been struggling with 14nm chips since 2015.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MJaP Avatar
20 months ago
We're running out of nanometres!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leman Avatar
20 months ago

and secondly do not compare Intel with TSMC either even if Intel does release 7nm in 2023, TSMC has had 7nm since 2018 and I find it much harder for Apple to buy from Intel than TSMC especially since the principal company themselves did the stupidest of all stupidity and attacked Apple with ads before offering Apple to make they’re own ARM Processors, it’s unlikely Apple will do that move
Intel and TSMC use different terminology, so TSMC's 7nm is said to be roughly equivalent to Intel's 10nm. It's all very confusing. Best treat node names just as names, with very little practical significance behind the numbers.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leman Avatar
20 months ago

Aye but they will have their 7nm soon and Apple will be able to buy capacity there and make even more chips without relying on one supplier. And Intel 7nm != TSMC 7nm.
Intel 7nm is not coming in any reasonable quantities before 2023-2024... and it will probably be roughly comparable to TSMC 5nm at best. I am quite confident that TSMC will keep their process lead at least until 2025 or maybe even later...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

m1 pro vs max feature

Future Apple Silicon Macs Will Reportedly Use 3nm Chips With Up to 40 Cores

Friday November 5, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
The Information's Wayne Ma today shared alleged details about future Apple silicon chips that will succeed the first-generation M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips, which are manufactured based on Apple chipmaking partner TSMC's 5nm process. The report claims that Apple and TSMC plan to manufacture second-generation Apple silicon chips using an enhanced version of TSMC's 5nm process, and the chips...
3nm apple silicon feature

Intel Eager to Avoid Clashes With Apple As It Looks to Secure TSMC's 3nm Chip Supply

Friday December 3, 2021 2:20 am PST by
Intel is looking to develop a closer relationship with TSMC, Apple's largest and most important chip supplier, to avoid possible clashes with the Cupertino tech giant over TSMC's 3nm chip production, according to DigiTimes. Yesterday, we reported on TSMC beginning pilot production of its 3nm process that will eventually be used in future Apple silicon Macs. Apple currently uses a 5nm process ...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Apple Diversifies Supply Chain for Custom-Designed 5G Modem for iPhones in 2023

Wednesday February 23, 2022 2:18 am PST by
Apple is in preliminary talks with new suppliers about backend orders for its first in-house 5G modem chips for iPhones, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple is reportedly negotiating with ASE Technology, which owns Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL), to package some of its first self-designed 5G modem chips. The report notes...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

First M2 Macs Expected to Launch Later This Year Using TSMC's 4nm Chip Process

Thursday March 10, 2022 7:30 am PST by
Apple plans to launch a series of Macs with M2 chips based on TSMC's 4nm process later this year, according to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. This advancement should allow for continued performance and power efficiency improvements. "TSMC's 4nm process will also build Apple's M2 chip that will power the new Mac series slated for launch in the second half of this year," the report claims. ...
m1 4nm feature2

A16 Bionic Chip in iPhone 14 Reportedly Set to Be Based on '4nm' Process [Updated]

Wednesday November 3, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
The chip powering the next-generation iPhone will reportedly be based on a "4nm" process, an even smaller process compared to the 5nm process used in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, according to a paywalled preview of an upcoming report from DigiTimes. Last year, Apple adopted a 5nm process with the A14 Bionic chip in the latest iPad Air and the iPhone 12 lineup. With the iPhone 13, it...
apple park solar

Apple Suppliers Struggling to Meet Environmental Goals

Tuesday January 18, 2022 7:29 am PST by
Apple's strict environmental goals are putting pressure on the company's global supply chains, DigiTimes reports. In a paywalled report, DigiTimes claims that Apple's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 is putting pressure on its supply chain, with major suppliers such as TSMC scrambling to meet the company's demands. Sources speaking to DigiTimes said that TSMC was making slow...
tsmc semiconductor chip inspection 678x452

Apple Products Could See 'Noticeable' Price Rises Amid Increased Chip Costs

Monday September 6, 2021 8:37 am PDT by
Apple will need to pay more for the chips in its devices and may pass rising costs on to its customers, according to sources speaking to Nikkei Asia. TSMC, Apple's main chip supplier, is in the process of increasing its prices following wider inflation in the industry caused by the global chip supply shortage. The company's planned price rises are said to be the most substantial chip price...
ipad pro 3nm feature

Apple Likely to Debut Next-Gen 3nm Chip Technology in 2022 iPad Pro

Friday July 2, 2021 12:26 am PDT by
Apple will launch an iPad next year featuring a processor based on chipmaking partner TSMC's next-generation 3-nanometer process, according to a new report today from Nikkei Asia. Apple and Intel are testing their chip designs with TSMC's 3-nanometer production technology, according to several sources briefed on the matter, with commercial output of such chips expected to start in the second...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature

iPhone 14 Is Secretly Hiding a Beloved Mac Feature

Friday September 30, 2022 3:24 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models bring over a longstanding Mac feature, but the setting to enable it is off by default. The feature, which is actually a new accessibility option, allows the iPhone to play a startup chime like the Mac. When enabled, the sound comes alongside a new shutdown chime. The Mac has featured a startup chime since 1987's Macintosh II, and the iconic "bong"...
adaptive transparency airpods pro

iOS 16.1 Beta Brings Adaptive Transparency to Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 29, 2022 1:08 pm PDT by
The third beta of iOS 16.1 that was released earlier this week expands the Adaptive Transparency feature introduced with the second-generation AirPods Pro to the original AirPods Pro. As noted on Reddit, first-generation AirPods Pro owners who also have the AirPods beta software will now see an "Adaptive Transparency" toggle in the AirPods section of the Settings app. The 5A304A beta...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
tim cook malala

Tim Cook: Not Too Long From Now, You'll Wonder How You Led Your Life Without AR

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:26 am PDT by
Speaking at Università Degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Naples, Italy, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that not too long from today, people will wonder how they led a life without augmented reality, stressing the "profound" impact it will have on the not so distant future. At the university, Cook was awarded an Honorary Degree in Innovation and International Management and also sat down for a...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
zuckerberg metaverse

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm Not Really Sure the Average Person Can Tell You What the Metaverse Is'

Friday September 30, 2022 12:51 pm PDT by
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been touring Europe this week, sitting down for interviews with various media publications. Augmented reality has been a running theme in Cook's discussions, and it is a topic he brought up again in an interview with Dutch publication Bright, which is part of RTL News. "I think AR is a profound technology that will affect everything," Cook said, echoing comments from...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...