Apple is set to monopolize Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 3nm chip supply for the year 2023. The tech giant had initially reserved nearly 90% of TSMC’s capacity for its next-generation devices, but will now take up 100% due to Intel’s deferred wafer requirements. Intel’s delays have led to a drop in TSMC’s sales projections for its 3nm chips, although significant growth is still anticipated in the last quarter of the year as mass production of the chips commences.
For the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models, Apple plans to introduce the A17 Bionic processor, the company’s inaugural chip based on TSMC’s first-gen 3nm process technology, also known as N3B. These 3nm chips promise 35% better power efficiency and 15% enhanced performance compared to the previous 4nm technology used in the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro series.
TSMC’s 3nm technology will also be deployed in Apple’s M3 chip, expected to power new models of the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 24-inch iMac, both of which could be unveiled as soon as October this year. Early next year, new OLED iPad Pro models are also slated to feature the M3 chip. Additionally, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo anticipates that 2024 will see the introduction of 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models equipped with M3 Pro and M3 Max chips.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that Apple is currently testing a new chip featuring a 12-core CPU, 18-core GPU, and 36GB of memory, potentially the foundational M3 Pro chip for next year’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Gurman also noted that Apple appears to be in the testing phase of an M3 Mac mini variant, featuring eight CPU cores and 24GB of RAM.
Beyond 2023, TSMC is developing an advanced version of its 3nm technology called N3E. Apple’s future devices are expected to transition to this new generation, with commercial production likely to commence in the latter half of 2023 and full-scale shipments anticipated to start in 2024.