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The output of the 3nm process is 30% higher than that of the 5nm process or used in Apple A17 chips.

Published :3/2/2021 9:09:53 AM

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Apple’s main chip supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is expected to start risky production of the 3nm manufacturing process in the second half of this year. By then, the fab will have the capacity to process 30,000 wafers made with more advanced technology.

According to reports, thanks to Apple’s order commitments, TSMC plans to expand the monthly production capacity of the 3nm process to 55,000 pieces in 2022, and will further expand its production to 105,000 pieces in 2023. The output of the 3nm process is 30% higher than that of the 5nm process, and the power consumption and performance are increased by 15%. As the production of the 3nm process node enters the risk production stage, it is expected to start production in the second half of this year.


TSMC’s risky production phase means that it will produce 30,000 wafers per month in the second half of 2021, and by 2022, it will expand to 55,000 wafers per month. Apple’s large number of orders will play a role. Then by 2023, TSMC is expected to increase its production capacity to 105,000 wafers per month. At the recent ISSCC2021 conference, TSMC Chairman Dr. Mark Liu talked about the technical issues of the 3nm process. Compared with the 5nm process, it is expected that the speed of the 3nm node process will increase by 11% and the power consumption will be reduced by 27%. Under normal circumstances, the progress of nodes will lead to faster and more energy-efficient products. Many people are interested in when Apple will use the chips produced by the new process.

As for the 5nm process, AMD will use it on future Zen4 architecture processors and RDNA3 architecture GPUs. At the end of 2020, TSMC’s 5nm process capacity will be 90,000 wafers per month. By the middle of this year, it will increase to 105,000 wafers per month, and in the second half of the year, it will further increase to 120,000 wafers per month. Wafer.

Due to Apple’s new orders for ARM-based M1 processors and continued strong demand for iPadAir equipped with Apple’s A14Bionic chip, Apple’s orders for 5nm chips remained stable overall.

It is said that Apple will use 5nm+ A15 chips in the upcoming iPhone13 series. 5nm+, or N5P, is said to be a "performance-enhanced version" of the 5nm chip used in the iPhone 12, which will bring additional energy efficiency and performance improvements.

The A16 chip in the iPhone 14 in 2022 is likely to be manufactured based on TSMC’s future 4nm process, which indicates that the new 3nm technology is likely to be used in the potential A17 chip (iPhone 15 is expected to be equipped). If the company continues to follow the practices of previous years, there will be May be used in other future Apple SiliconMacs.