Apple Secures Pole Position in Race for Next-Gen 2nm Chip from TSMC Apple to lead in advanced chip technology with TSMC's breakthrough 2-nanometer process.

Apple is set to become the initial recipient of TSMC’s innovative 2-nanometer chips, according to a DigiTimes report. Sources indicate that Apple will be the first client to deploy this advanced technology. TSMC plans to commence the production of these cutting-edge 2nm chips in the latter half of 2025.

The terminology like “2nm” signifies the architecture and design principles utilized in developing a new family of chips. This reduction in node size enables the inclusion of more transistors in a processor, enhancing speed and energy efficiency.

In the recent past, Apple incorporated 3-nanometer chips in its iPhones and Macs. Both the iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Pro chip and the M3 series chips in Macs are based on this 3-nanometer node, marking a significant advancement from the previous 5nm technology.

This technological leap resulted in substantial performance improvements, including 20% faster GPU speeds, 10% quicker CPU performance, and a doubled speed in the Neural Engine in iPhones, with similar enhancements in Macs.

To facilitate this transition to 2nm chip production, TSMC is constructing two new facilities and seeking approval for a third. This expansion is necessary to meet the demands of manufacturing such advanced technology.

N2 2nm Chip | TSMC – Apple Silicon | Image: AppleMagazine

The 2nm chips will employ GAAFET (gate-all-around field-effect transistors) with nanosheets, a more intricate process than the previous FinFET, allowing for faster speeds, smaller transistors, and reduced voltage requirements.

TSMC’s multi-billion dollar investment in this new technology will necessitate design modifications in Apple’s chips. As TSMC’s leading client, Apple has historically been the first to receive new chip advancements, as evidenced by the Cupertino company’s exclusive access to all of TSMC’s 3-nanometer chips in 2023.

Before the introduction of 2nm nodes, TSMC plans to release several enhancements to the current 3nm technology. These include the already-released N3E and N3P chips, along with other upcoming specialized chips like N3X for high-performance computing and N3AE for automotive applications.

Further into the future, TSMC is rumored to be developing even more sophisticated 1.4-nanometer chips, with a potential release as early as 2027.

Apple is reportedly aiming to secure TSMC’s initial production capabilities for both 1.4nm and 1nm technologies, demonstrating its commitment to remaining at the forefront of chip technology.

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