Alleged Apple Chip Plans Suggest 'A16' Will Stick With 5nm, 'M2' to Make Jump to 3nm Instead

The "A16" chip for the iPhone will reportedly be manufactured with the same process as the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic, with Apple saving a bigger performance leap for the "M2" chip designed for its next-generation Macs. Meanwhile, the company is working on a "final" M1 chip variant that uses more powerful cores from the A15, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro."

a16 5nm m2 3nm feature 2
In a thread on Twitter, ShrimpApplePro shared information from "a fairly reliable source" that purports to reveal Apple's chip plans for the upcoming A16 and M2 chips, as well as the "final" variant in the M1 family of chips.

The A16 will reportedly be based on TSMC's 5nm process, just like the A14, A15, and M1 chips. Previous reports have been unclear about whether the A16 will be fabricated with TSMC's more advanced 4nm process, with an ambiguous report from DigiTimes claiming that Apple plans to use TSMC's 4nm N4P process – but N4P is in fact an enhanced, third-generation version of the 5nm process. On the other hand, ShrimpApplePro said that the A16 will use TSMC's N5P process. This suggests that the A16 may be less of a substantial upgrade than previously thought.

According to the information, the A16's improvements will instead come from minor enhancements to the CPU, GPU, and memory. Mirroring a report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, ShrimpApplePro said that the A16 will specifically feature LPDDR 5 memory. LPDDR 5 memory is up to one and a half times faster and up to 30 percent more power-efficient than the LPDDR 4X memory paired with the A15 chip in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.

The M2 chip will apparently be the first Apple chip to make the jump to TSMC's 3nm process, skipping 4nm entirely. The M2 is believed to be Apple's first custom ARMv9 processor.

Apple is also said to be working on the "final SoC of M1 series," featuring updated cores. The M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips use energy-efficient "Icestorm" cores and high-performance "Firestorm" cores – just like the A14 Bionic chip. Apple's final M1 variant will instead allegedly be based on the A15 Bionic, featuring "Blizzard" energy-efficient cores and "Avalanche" high-performance cores.

This final chip in the M1 family could be offered in the next-generation Mac Pro, which Apple explicitly teased earlier this year. Currently, Apple's most powerful chip is the M1 Ultra, which is effectively a doubled-up version of the M1 Max with a 20-core CPU and a 64-core GPU. With the first Apple silicon Mac Pro, Apple is believed to be working on a chip that is even more powerful than the M1 Ultra. The M1 Ultra in the Mac Studio is already faster than the 28-core Intel Xeon chip, so the Mac Pro will need to boast an even more extreme advance in performance.

Alternatively, if it is not for the Mac Pro, this new chip could be a variant of the standard M1 chip. Kuo said earlier this year that the 2022 MacBook Air would retain the M1 chip rather than feature the M2, so it is possible that ShrimpApplePro's rumor relates to the entry-level M1 rather than the top-tier M1 variant in the Apple silicon Mac Pro, or something else entirely. Offering devices with an iteration of the standard M1 chip could help Apple buy time before releasing Macs with the M2 chip.

Other reports claim that the A16 chip will debut exclusively in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max sticking with the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic, while the M2 chip is mostly rumored to be introduced with a redesigned MacBook Air later this year, before spreading to a wave of new Macs and potentially the next-generation iPad Pro.

ShrimpApplePro was unsure about the final naming of the "A16," "M2," and the final M1 chip variant and said that the rumor should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, MacBook Air
Related Forums: Mac Pro, MacBook Air, iPhone

Top Rated Comments

fwmireault Avatar
25 months ago
So glad we can rely on trusted sources like ShrimpApplePro
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gigatoaster Avatar
25 months ago
This was a very complicated article to read. I don’t blame MR as the topic is indeed complicated. I’ll just stick to what I understood: there is guy on Twitter who likes shrimps and he talks about chips.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
25 months ago
Sounds like the iPhone 15 is the one to wait for. USB-C and 3nm A17? Sign me up!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
25 months ago
I told you all the final variant would be M1 God.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Basic75 Avatar
25 months ago
So ... nobody outside of Apple really knows what's going on, we all just have to wait and see.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
syklee26 Avatar
25 months ago
Final variant should be M1 Steve
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...