In a recent MacRumors post, Tim Hardwick mentioned that Apple had purchased the first batch of N3 3nm process semiconductors from TSMC. The predicted A17 Bionic processor for the iPhone 15 Pro and the following M3 Macs are anticipated to use these next-generation semiconductors. The iPhone 15 Pro Max or the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra would also probably employ these CPUs, however, there is considerable doubt about whether we will see both variants in the following iPhone lineup. Here are all the necessary details you need to know.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro is said to feature a 3NM Chipset
Notwithstanding the increased prices and the fall in the foundry’s utilization rate in the first half of 2023, Apple has reportedly acquired 100% of the first N3 supply, which is expected to have a high yield. According to the report’s sources, TSMC’s 3nm process entered mass production in late December. The foundry has gradually increased process capacity, with monthly output expected to reach 45,000 wafers in March.
Apple’s chipsets will benefit greatly from this. In Geekbench 5 testing, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powering the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra surpassed the A15 Bionic-powered iPhone 14, however, it fell short of the A16 found in the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Plus, although outperforming it visually.
According to rumors, Apple is anticipated to use the 3nm process this year for the A17 Bionic processor, which is expected to power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. According to claims, 3nm technology outperforms 4nm, which was utilized to create the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, in terms of power efficiency by 35% according to MacRumors.
3NM Processor is said to Feature in M3 Macs Aswell
The 3nm process semiconductors created by TSMC are also anticipated to be used in the upcoming generation of Apple silicon for Mac computers, which will presumably be called the M3. Ross Young, an expert for the display business, stated in December that a 15-inch MacBook Air will be delivered in the first half of 2023. The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 CPUs based on 3nm technology may instead debut in the second half of 2023 if DigiTimes’ forecast proves to be correct.
The M3 CPUs could significantly outperform their 5nm process M2 counterparts if, as rumor has it, the next-generation Macs were the source of the 3NM Chipset, according to TSMC. The company’s N3 3nm process technology is predicted to be updated to improve N3E technology by the end of 2023, and it is predicted to increase speed by 15% and decrease power consumption by 30%.
Given that the present M2 Pro and M2 Max processors are currently among the highest-performing chips on the market, that amount of performance improvement would be amazing. The MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro and M2 Max laptops performed better than some of the best Intel-powered laptops using 12th-generation Alder Lake processors in Geekbench 5 benchmark tests.
However, a new group of Windows 11 laptops powered by the new Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen CPUs will be available this year, which will increase the competition. Expect Apple to maintain its position at the top of our ranking of the best laptops if the M3 is notably superior.
According to a different report this week from DigiTimes, TSMC is prepared to switch to N3E, an improved version of N3, their first-generation 3nm technology, for commercial production in the second half of this year. Apple will be the first client to use the process. But according to MacRumors, they haven’t come across any additional sources that support this timeline, including Nikkei Asia’s September story that Apple would embrace N3E for smartphones debuting as early as this year.
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