Apple may already have cornered the market on next-gen 2nm chips

Macworld

While we’re still waiting for the rest of the M3 Macs to arrive later this year, a report from DigiTimes (subscription required) this week states that Apple is looking to use TSMC’s 2nm process for its chips. The process could begin production by the second half of 2025, according to the publication.

With a 2025 release, that could mean the A19 Pro and the M4 series could be 2nm chips, but the vague timeline suggests it’s more likely that the first 2nm chips will arrive in 2026. Apple is expected to release an A18 Pro chip with the iPhone 16 Pro this fall, while the M3 Ultra chip is likely to appear in the Mac Studio this summer. Both those chips could be produced with TSMC’s enhanced 3nm process, which is an evolution of the standard 3nm process used with the A17 Pro and M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max.

With the 2nm process, TSMC is switching from fin field-effect transistors (FinFET) to gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFET). The switch should allow for an improvement in performance with better power efficiency.

DigiTimes’ report follows a report last month that TSMC demonstrated the 2nm process to Apple and other companies. TSMC told the Financial Times that the new process, “will be the most advanced semiconductor technology in the industry in both density and energy efficiency when it is introduced.” The DigiTimes report claims Apple is “widely believed to be the initial client to utilize the process,” which means no other PC maker would launch a 2nm chip until 2026 at the earliest.

The nanometer process refers to the production of the chip, and 2nm allows for increased transistor density over the previous 3nm and 5nm processes. The higher the transistor density, the better the performance, and the process can also result in better power efficiency. Apple first started using 3nm chips with the A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro, which was followed by the M3 in the iMac and 14-inch MacBook Pro, and the M3 Pro and Max in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

CPUs and Processors

​Macworld Macworld

While we’re still waiting for the rest of the M3 Macs to arrive later this year, a report from DigiTimes (subscription required) this week states that Apple is looking to use TSMC’s 2nm process for its chips. The process could begin production by the second half of 2025, according to the publication.

With a 2025 release, that could mean the A19 Pro and the M4 series could be 2nm chips, but the vague timeline suggests it’s more likely that the first 2nm chips will arrive in 2026. Apple is expected to release an A18 Pro chip with the iPhone 16 Pro this fall, while the M3 Ultra chip is likely to appear in the Mac Studio this summer. Both those chips could be produced with TSMC’s enhanced 3nm process, which is an evolution of the standard 3nm process used with the A17 Pro and M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max.

With the 2nm process, TSMC is switching from fin field-effect transistors (FinFET) to gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFET). The switch should allow for an improvement in performance with better power efficiency.

DigiTimes’ report follows a report last month that TSMC demonstrated the 2nm process to Apple and other companies. TSMC told the Financial Times that the new process, “will be the most advanced semiconductor technology in the industry in both density and energy efficiency when it is introduced.” The DigiTimes report claims Apple is “widely believed to be the initial client to utilize the process,” which means no other PC maker would launch a 2nm chip until 2026 at the earliest.

The nanometer process refers to the production of the chip, and 2nm allows for increased transistor density over the previous 3nm and 5nm processes. The higher the transistor density, the better the performance, and the process can also result in better power efficiency. Apple first started using 3nm chips with the A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro, which was followed by the M3 in the iMac and 14-inch MacBook Pro, and the M3 Pro and Max in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

CPUs and Processors 

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