Samsung The fiasco with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the lackluster Exynos 2200 is unforgettable. It forces other companies to hand over to TSMC. Besides its regular customers like Apple and MediaTek, TSMC also got more orders for Snapdragon chips. According to reports, Qualcomm will stick to TSMC for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and future Snapdragon 7 Gen 2 SoCs. However, it looks like Apple will stay ahead of the competition. Apparently, the Cupertino-based brand will Using TSMC’s improved 3nm process. It bears the nickname “N3E” and is the second generation of TSMC. The new process will come with the upcoming Apple M3 chipset for computers and Apple A17 for Apple iPhone 15 Pro models.
iPhone 15 Pro and Apple M3 with 2nd generation 3nm TSMC process will be ahead of the competition
Nikkei Asia reports that Apple will rely on TSMC’s second generation of 3nm chips for its upcoming products. It is quite clear that she is predicting 2023. After all, the iPhone 14 series was launched recently. Current Pro models use the Apple A15 SoC. When it comes to computers, the Apple M2 will get the Pro and Max variants soon. These may also stick to the current manufacturing process. Therefore, the Apple M3 will only hit the market in 2023. However, don’t expect it in the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro series will likely stick to the usual September launch schedule.
According to the technical details, TSMC’s N3E will bring some huge benefits over the N3. For those unaware, the N3 is TSMC’s first generation of 3nm process. It may appear in a batch of new processors next year. This includes some Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and MediaTek Dimensity. For this reason, Apple’s upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and Apple M3 will have certain advantages over the competition. After all, we expect a lot more chips with first-generation TSMC 3nm manufacturing.
Apparently, Apple will use the most sought-after, and possibly the most expensive, product in its “high-end” chipset. The report also states that the company will be using TSMC’s first generation 3nm process on some iPad chips. Unfortunately, the identity of this iPad remains a mystery. It is rumored that the upcoming iPad Pro will get a release next month. It will use your existing Apple M2 processor. Moreover, reports also indicate the launch of a new entry-level iPad. This “cheaper” model will stick with the Apple A14 SoC that uses a 5nm process. Therefore, we expect the iPad based on 3nm to appear as well by 2023.
The iPhone gap is here to stay
Interestingly, the report also confirms the spec split between the iPhone 15 series and iPhone 15 Pro. For the second year in a row, Apple will keep the “real major” improvements only on the Pro lineup. However, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will pack the new Apple A17 processor. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will stick to the Apple A16 processor. It also comes from TSMC but uses the 4nm manufacturing process.
As a reminder, the iPhone 14 Pro and A14 Pro Max Apple A16 is used. The Vanilla and Plus models stick to the older Apple A15 processor packing. The processor is one difference, but there are many. iPhones, Vanilla, and Plus iPhones bring the retro design. This design is reminiscent of the era of the iPhone X. Moreover, the cameras on these models do not have significant upgrades. On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Pro and Max bring a new 48MP camera. Furthermore, when it comes to design, they have an impressive new degree of “island”. Apple has made interesting use of the “hole”. However, some may still see this as just a gimmick. For next year, we expect some differences. However, Apple may bring the new design to simpler models.
iPhone 15 Ultra
According to recent reports, Apple may rename its high-end iPhone lineup to “Ultra”. This will be in line with the recently released Apple Watch Ultra. Moreover, there is the Apple M1 Ultra, so the company is working hard to make this term popular. So, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might actually come like the iPhone 15 Ultra. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, while the iPhone 15 series may adopt some features of the iPhone 14 Pro.
However, they will still be far from the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra. Apparently, the differences between these models will grow and grow in the coming years. In fact, users may start to see significant differences between the Pro and Ultra variants. Differences that will exceed the display size. Of course, it’s too early to turn things into stone. So, soak up this news with a pinch or two of salt.
3 nm multiple nodes from TSMC
Apple is one of the companies benefiting from TSMC’s latest strategy. The Taiwanese chip maker will divide its 3-nanometer fabrication into four classes – N3E, N3P, N3S and N3X. These will come in the next few years before 2nm chips.
These N3 variants will provide improved process windows, higher performance, increased transistor density, and doubling voltages for high-performance applications. All of these technologies stick to FinFlex, which is TSMC’s “secret sauce.” Apple will take advantage of this strategy with the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and Apple M series.
what we expect
It’s too early to make big conclusions, but it looks like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus aren’t being received with bells and whistles. Of course, we need to wait for the start of sales in global markets. Only then will we have better expectations of their success. However, initial reports clearly indicate that the iPhone 14 Plus is not a favorite among fans. It’s an iPhone 14 mini ghost? Probably not, we assume the differences between the vanilla and Pro models still push users to the Pro variants. Especially when the price difference is not too big. Users may prefer to spend more on “real” upgrades rather than on devices that look like iPhone 13s “recycled”.