The Apple iPad Pro uses a 3nm processor
The Apple iPad Pro uses a 3nm processor

Before its launch early next year, Apple was the first to introduce next-generation chip production technology in Taiwan to the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC.

This development illustrates how TSMC continues to live up to US companies' chip ambitions even as Washington tries to bring more semiconductor production to the US.

Apple is using TSMC's 3nm manufacturing technology to test its chip designs, and commercial production of these chips is expected to begin in the second half of next year.

The process variable measures the distance between transistors on a chip. The smaller the number, the more advanced the chip. But it is more difficult and more expensive to build, too.

As the operation size decreases, the gap between the transistors decreases. This usually results in a more energy efficient design and higher performance.

TSMC's 5nm process technology is the most advanced chip production technology in consumer products today and is used in all iPhone 12 processor chips.

According to TSMC, 3nm technology can increase computing power by 10-15% compared to 5nm technology while reducing power consumption by 25-30%.

Apple's iPad is likely the first device to use 3nm technology to make a processor.

Apple uses a 3nm processor

For planning reasons, iPhone 14 should use 4nm mid-size technology.

This is still an improvement over the iPhone 12's 5nm chip design. It is expected to appear in the iPhone 13 later this year.

In the past few years, Apple has moved the same chip architecture layout to a new process size. This should increase efficiency and performance by more than 20%. The design of the chip itself has not changed.

Apple is expected to offer a 3-nanometer manufacturing process for all Apple silicon chips in the future. This includes iPhone, iPad, and Mac. From a logistical point of view, it even makes sense to start with an iPad.

The Apple A15 chip based on the 5nm process is expected to enter series production this year, while the iPhone 13 is expected to hit the market in September or October.

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