Note: This is a guest post written by Jeeva Shanmugam – Tim Hardwick recently wrote on MacRumors that Apple has bought the first batch of TSMC’s N3 3nm process semiconductors. These next-generation semiconductors are projected to be used in the anticipated A17 Bionic CPU for the iPhone 15 Pro and the next M3 Macs.
These Processors would likely also be used by the iPhone 15 Pro Max or the rumoured iPhone 15 Ultra, although it is highly unlikely that we will see both models in the next iPhone range. You can get all the information you need right here.
iPhone 15 Pro is featuring an exclusive 3NM Chipset
Despite the higher costs and the foundry’s utilization rate declining in the first half of 2023, Apple is said to have purchased all of the initial supply of the high-yielding N3 chip. TSMC’s 3nm process reportedly started mass production in late December, according to the report’s sources. With monthly production anticipated to exceed 45,000 wafers in March, the foundry has continuously boosted process capacity.
The chipsets made by Apple will profit immensely from this. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip outperformed the A15 Bionic-powered iPhone 14 in Geekbench 5 testing, however, it lagged below the A16 found in the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Plus, although exceeding it cosmetically.
The A17 Bionic CPU, which is likely to power the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models, is said to be manufactured by Apple using the 3nm technology this year. According to reports, 3nm technology has a 35% higher power efficiency than 4nm, which was used to make the A16 Bionic chip for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Other Expected Features of the iPhone 15 Pro
The iPhone 15 series is expected to have several new features and undergo a significant design makeover, according to leaks and rumors. Several of the potential new features of the iPhone 15 series are now highlighted in a recent study by ShirmpApplePro.
According to the most recent report, the iPhone 15 Pro Max would feature a more attractive design with curved edges, much like the current Apple Watch. A better screen-to-body ratio is also reportedly offered by the iPhone 15 Pro series, which is moreover claimed to have substantially slimmer bezels.
According to rumors, the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 Pro series will resemble the one on the iPhone 14 Pro, making the front camera configuration on the iPhone 15 Pro series identical to that of the iPhone 14 Pro series.
Last but not least, the source says that the 3D CAD renderings of the iPhone 15 series will begin to surface online by March or April, which will provide a few further details about the future iPhone series.
M3 MacBooks are also set to feature a 3NM Chipset
The future of Mac computers, which is most likely to be dubbed the M3, is likewise expected to employ the 3nm process semiconductors produced by TSMC. In December, Ross Young, a display industry analyst, said that a 15-inch MacBook Air will be released in the first half of 2023. If DigiTimes’ prediction comes true, the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs with M3 Processors made using 3nm technology may instead be released in the second half of 2023.
According to TSMC, if the 3NM Chipset was derived from the rumored next-generation Macs, the M3 CPUs might perform noticeably better than their 5nm process M2 counterparts. By the end of 2023, it is anticipated that the business would upgrade its N3 3 nm process technology to improve N3E technology, which will result in speed increases of 15% and power savings of 30%.
Given that the M2 Pro and M2 Max processors are among the best-performing CPUs on the market right now, such a performance boost would be astounding. In benchmark testing conducted using the Geekbench 5 software, the MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Pro and M2 Max laptops outperformed some of the top Intel-powered laptops equipped with 12th-generation Alder Lake CPUs.
Although this year will see the release of a fresh batch of Windows 11 laptops with the new Intel Raptor Lake 13th Gen CPUs, this will just serve to heighten the level of competitiveness. In the event that the M3 proves to be noticeably superior, anticipate Apple to keep the top spot in our rating of the best laptop of 2023.
The second half of this year would see the commercial adoption of N3E, an upgraded version of TSMC’s first-generation 3nm technology, according to a different report this week from DigiTimes. The technique will be used by Apple as its first customer. Although Nikkei Asia reported in September that Apple will enable N3E for smartphones that would appear as early as this year, MacRumors claims that they haven’t found any other sources that confirm this schedule.
Wrapping it All
Since Apple hasn’t confirmed it officially yet, we couldn’t expect the same could happen in the upcoming Apple products. Anything may change, so I recommend you keep an eye on the leaks and rumours and take it with a pinch of salt.