Apple Books Nearly 90% of TSMC's 3nm Production Capacity for This Year
Apple has booked nearly 90% of chip supplier TSMC's first-generation 3-nanometer process capacity this year for future iPhones, Macs, and iPads, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes, providing the Taiwanese foundry with significant growth momentum in the second half of 2023.
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to feature the A17 Bionic processor, Apple's first iPhone chip based on TSMC's first-generation 3nm process, also known as N3B. The 3nm technology is said to deliver a 35% power efficiency improvement and 15% faster performance compared to 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple's M3 chip for Macs and iPads is also expected to use the 3nm process. The first M3 devices are expected to include an updated 13-inch MacBook Air and 24-inch iMac, both of which could arrive later this year. New iPad Pro models coming next year are likely to be powered by M3 chips, while Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models coming in 2024 will feature M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
According to an App Store developer log obtained by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is currently testing a new chip with a 12-core CPU, 18-core GPU, and 36GB of memory, which could be the base-level M3 Pro for the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models launching next year.
According to The Information, future Apple silicon chips built on the 3nm process will feature up to four dies, which would support up to 40 compute cores. The M2 chip has a 10-core CPU and the M2 Pro and Max have 12-core CPUs, so 3nm could significantly boost multi-core performance. At minimum, 3nm should provide the biggest performance and efficiency leap to Apple's chips since 2020.
TSMC is also working on an enhanced 3nm process called N3E. Apple devices will eventually migrate to the N3E generation, which is expected to enter commercial production in the second half of 2023, but actual shipments will not ramp up until 2024, according to DigiTimes.
Top Rated Comments
Regarding 36 GB RAM on an M3 Pro - SK Hynix, Apple's preferred memory supplier, recently announced production of 18GB LPDDR5 modules in mid-2021 (the largest modules on the market at the time), so that would be 2x18.
16GB and higher LPDDR5 modules are on the market but the cost goes up significantly. The Pro and Max variants use these higher capacities in 2x (Pro) and 4x (Max) configurations.
Check this out:
* 8-bit 1.023 Mhz CPU
* An unbelievable 64 Kilobytes of RAM. Yes 64K!!!
* Incredible 320 x 200 resolution with a gigantic pallete of 16 colors
* The Mighty SID 6581 sound chip which could make beep and boom sounds better than ANYTHING at the time
* No hard drive at all- who needed a hard drive?
* No CD-ROM at all- there was no such thing as CDs yet
Mac was starting to percolate as Lisa
Apple was years from Mac
PC was barely around, and no Windows for many years yet
Amiga was still incubating
Everybody wanted one.
And then the incredible 170Kb floppy drive came along so we could store an insane amount of data. 170 Kilobytes. OMG!
Ironically, now I'm dreaming about Apple basically making one of these- Apple thin & light- but basically the "whole computer" in a keyboard "case"- pretty much the bottom half of a MacBook now... to then be able to use with a virtualized, any-sized screen or screens in the rumored Googles.
Imagine an Apple version of C64 plus an any-sized monitor in the laptop bag... to be used much like we use laptops today... EXCEPT we finally have a MB17" or a MB18" or a MB20" or a MB24" or MB30" or MB50" or iMac 27" or 30" or 32", etc ALL in that laptop bag, ready to be used wherever we would pull out the cramped screen of an actual laptop.