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.

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Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
42 months ago
Intel just left the chat.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chorion Avatar
42 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
42 months ago
Meanwhile Intel has been struggling with 14nm chips since 2015.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MJaP Avatar
42 months ago
We're running out of nanometres!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leman Avatar
42 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
42 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)