Apple A16 missed the 3nm process?TSMC’s response: as planned, no comment

On November 4th, according to foreign media The Information, TSMC’s latest 3nm process has fallen into a bottleneck and encountered difficulties in production, and may not be able to enter the mass production stage as scheduled. Affected by this, the A16 chip on Apple’s new iPhone 14 next year may not be able to use the 3nm process and may switch to the 4nm process.

The latest report from Taiwan’s “Economic Daily” said that TSMC responded to the rumors on the Internet, and the 3nm process was carried out as planned, without commenting on customer or market rumors.

It seems that Apple’s A16 chip still has a good chance of using TSMC’s 3nm process. According to the plan announced by TSMC, the 3nm process will start trial production in the fourth quarter of this year and will be officially mass-produced in the second half of next year. If everything goes according to plan, mass production of the A16 chip before Apple’s iPhone 14 release should not be a problem.

However, I haven’t heard any news about TSMC’s 3nm production, and the initial production capacity is not expected to be too high. It’s really good to say whether it can meet Apple’s order demand. According to previous media reports, Intel is the largest customer of TSMC’s 3nm process and will occupy most of the production capacity. And Apple’s A-series chip orders are very large, with more than 100 million A15s this year, TSMC may be difficult to meet the needs of both parties at the same time.

Apple has always been a loyal supporter of TSMC’s new process. From the previous 10nm, 7nm, to last year’s 5nm, this time it is naturally unwilling to give up 3nm, but to compromise and use 4nm. However, there are great risks in trying new processes, and the inability to guarantee production capacity is only one aspect, and the more important thing is to worry about chip performance overturning. Last year’s A14 chip was just because the 5nm process was not mature enough, just squeezed a little toothpaste, and the power consumption and heat soared. The actual experience may not be as good as the A13 chip.

According to the description released by TSMC, compared with the 5nm process, the 3nm process is expected to improve performance by 10% to 15% and reduce power consumption by 25% to 30%. However, it is difficult to say how the actual performance is, and there will be some differences between the general situation and the theoretical value. The more advanced semiconductor technology is, the more difficult it will be. There are so many difficulties in progressing from 7nm to 5nm. Will the upgrade from 5nm to 3nm really be smooth? Xiao Lei was still a little suspicious.

At present, TSMC has not confirmed that the Apple A16 will use the 3nm process, and there is still the possibility of using the 4nm process. I hope next year’s A16 can squeeze more toothpaste and stop pulling the crotch or overturning the car.

Source: Ray Technology

The Links:   FRS300BA50 LB121S03-TL04