TSMC confirms that the 5G iPhone 14 line will not be as powerful or as efficient as expected.

TSMC and Apple had hoped to ship the previously developed chips. Use of 3nm process node for timely use in 2022 iPhone 14 series.. The world’s top foundry began shipping 5nm chipsets to Apple last year, and both the A14 Bionic and M1 are built using this process node.

Bad news for 2022 iPhone 14 series as TSMC confirms delay in release of 3nm chip set

The last 7nm chipset used to power the iPhone was the A13 Bionic, found in the 2019 iPhone 11 series. The component contained 8.5 billion transistors, with 11.8 billion transistors inside the A14 bionic and 16 billion used with the M1. As a general rule, the lower the process node number, the greater the number of transistors that can fit on the chip. The higher the number of transistors, the more powerful and energy efficient the chip will be.

But according to. In search of Alpha, TSMC is confirming 3nm production delays and foundry comments indicate that 3nm production (N3) will miss the window to join the iPhone 14 line. Instead, TSMC is expected to develop the A16 Bionic using its 4nm process node. This means that the 2022 iPhone models will not improve performance and energy consumption as much as originally expected.

TSMC usually starts chip production in April and May. Given the three-month delay, it is clear that the 4nm A16 Bionic will be enough for next year’s phone. This delay could allow Samsung to ship the first 3nm chips instead of the TSMC. This is important because it can allow an Android handset, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series, to be the first with 3 NMSC instead of iPhone 14 models.

Last year, Apple released the first smartphones running on a 5nm chip with the iPhone 13 line. It also powered the iPad Air (2020) with the same chipset. TSMC will increase production of its 3nm chips in the second half of next year. As transistors continue to shrink in size and billions are used inside powerful chip sets, the chip industry has to address the important question of whether it will continue to shrink the size of transistors and reduce the size of nodes.

While both TSMC and Samsung Foundry are considered world action leaders with a roadmap of up to 2nm earlier this year. IBM developed the first 2nm chip using the Get All Around (GAA) nanosheet device architecture that allows Big Blue to fit into a 50 billion transistor chip.

Apple may be forced to use less powerful 4nm chips for the 2022 iPhone 14 line.

The 3nm chip delay is TSMC’s first to affect 20nm chips for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014. The latest process node was being introduced every other year. For example, chips that power the iPhone 13 series will use an improved version of TSMC’s 5nm process node after the release of the 5nm A14 Bionic last year. But now that the delay is over, it is not known how the use of the 4nm chipset will affect TSMC’s plans in the future.
Will the foundry stick with a better 4nm blood for the A17 Bionic or will they use 3nm for this chip. Interestingly, Apple was reportedly planning to use a 4nm process node for the M2 chip, a sequel to the first M1 Apple silicone chip used on the Mac and iPad Pro (2021).

The iPhone 14 series is not expected to be introduced until September 2022, so there is still plenty of time to improve TSMC’s plans.

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