The Apple iPhone 14 should be the first smartphone packed with powerful 3nm chips
A couple of days ago we told you that Apple has already reserved 80% of TSMC's 5nm production for 2021. The 5nm process node is the most cutting-edge in chip manufacturing at the moment and the technology allows 11.8 billion transistors to be placed inside Apple's A14 Bionic chipset. That compares to the 8.5 billion transistors inside the A13 Bionic SoC which was produced using the 7nm process. With a transistor density of 134 million per square mm compare to the nearly 90mm transistors per square mm "sardined" inside its predecessor, the A14 Bionic provides improved performance and energy-conservation compared to the A13 Bionic. The latter is the chip that powers the 5G iPhone 12 series.
According to Money.UDN (via AppleInsider), when TSMC moves to 3nm production, the next major benchmark in process node, Apple will be there gobbling up all of the chips it can eat. The fresh report states that Apple has already ordered 3nm production for both the A and M-series chipsets. The former is used on devices like the iPhone and the iPad. The M1 chip was recently introduced by Apple as a replacement for Intel processors on some Macs. It too is now produced using the 5nm process node and sports a whopping 16 billion transistors inside.
Sources inside the supply chain state that TSMC plans on beginning mass production of 3nm chips starting in 2022 following trial production during the second half of 2021. The report notes that TSMC will continue to beat Samsung to the next process plateau. The report claims that the Taiwan-based foundry will have a six-month head start at 3nm over Samsung Foundry. It also says that Apple placed the order for the iPad and the Mac although we know that the iPhone might also be using 3nm A16 Bionic chipsets by 2022. These chips could debut on the Apple iPhone 14. TSMC has stated that its 3nm chips will deliver performance hikes of 10% to 15% over the 5nm node and will consume 20% to 25% less power than the current chipset.