Apple Silicon's Next Big Upgrade Could Arrive in 2026

Apple could upgrade to considerably more advanced 2-nanometer chip fabrication technology as soon as 2026, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple Silicon Teal Feature
In a recent post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple will likely begin to use TSMC's 2-nanometer chip fabrication technology to produce iPhone chips as early as 2026. The iPhone 15 Pro's A17 Pro chip is the industry's first 3-nanometer chip, sporting performance and efficiency improvements thanks to its increased transistor density.

If so, this would mirror its use of the 5-nanometer node through the A14, A15, and A16 Bionic chips from 2020 to 2022, where the technology persisted for three years through successive chip generations. The 2026 timeframe would also presumably mean the 3-nanometer node persists for three years through the A17 Pro, "A18," and "A19" from 2023 to 2025.

Like 3-nanometer, 2-nanometer further reduces the smallest possible dimension used in chip manufacturing and increases transistor density, resulting in improved performance and efficiency.

According to Kuo, TSMC is strengthening its vertical integration capabilities with chip designer ARM in an effort to ensure a smooth transition from the current 3-nanometer technology to the next-generation 2-nanometer process. Apple and Nvidia are expected to be among the first clients to place orders for 2-nanometer chips.

Top Rated Comments

maerz001 Avatar
8 months ago
well many here had high expectations of the 3nm. But seeing the numbers from Apple now for the A17 I don’t know what to expect for a 2nm. I am not hyped
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Leon Ze Professional Avatar
8 months ago
From the wonderlust event, even Apple themselves didn't wheel out the big wigs to announce the A17 pro chip.

I don't know how everyone else felt?

But to me the A17 pro announcement felt rather flat as if Apple themselves weren't quite as excited about this chip as we all expected them to be.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sack_peak Avatar
8 months ago

Serious question. What happens when they get to 1nm? What’s the next step? .5, or some completely new technology all together?
Source:

- https://www.imec-int.com/en/articles/smaller-better-faster-imec-presents-chip-scaling-roadmap
- https://www.tomshardware.com/news/imec-reveals-sub-1nm-transistor-roadmap-3d-stacked-cmos-20-plans

Based on 3nm (N3) deliverables assume the die shrink to apply to the iPhone chip a year later.

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Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
headlessmike Avatar
8 months ago

Serious question. What happens when they get to 1nm? What’s the next step? .5, or some completely new technology all together?
0.2 nm, also known as 2 Å (for Ångström), is about as small as you can theoretically make anything with a semi-conductor material like silicon since that's the approximate distance between two atoms in the crystal. If we ever get anywhere near that with our current approach is debatable. Quantum effects become increasingly tricky to deal with as sizes shrink down to the level of atoms. More likely we'll have to hope for a major breakthrough somewhere else than shrinking transistors to keep advancing computing power at some point in the not too distant future.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IIGS User Avatar
8 months ago
Upon its creation, iOS 20 began to learn at a geometric rate. The software originally went online in June of 2025. Human decisions were removed from memoji choices. iOS then became self-aware at 10:AM Pacific time on the second Monday of September, 2025

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Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phill85 Avatar
8 months ago
Hot take: 2028 at the earliest
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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