Apple’s Macs, iPads, and iPhones could boast 3nm chips next year

2022 Macs, iPads, and iPhones may feature chips built on the 3nm process, as TSMC, Apple’s chip fabricator, is planning to begin mass production for 3nm chips destined for Apple in the second half of next year.

Apple's Macs, iPads, and iPhones could boast 3nm chips in 2022. Image: M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology and is packed with an astounding 16 billion transistors.
Apple’s M1 is the first personal computer chip built using cutting-edge 5-nanometer process technology

Last August, Dr. Ian Cutress reports for Anandtech that TSMC planned to continue using FinFET transistors vs. newer ‘Gate-All-Around’ technology (GAA-FET) which are more complex to build than FinFETs. TSMC’s 3nm process will use an improved version on FinFET in order to deliver up to 50% performance gain, up to 30% power reduction, and 1.7x density gain over the current 5nm chips. More info here.

Monica Chen and Jessie Shen for DigiTimes:

TSMC is on track to move its 3nm process technology to volume production in the second half of 2022 for Apple’s devices, either iPhones or Mac computers, according to industry sources.

Sami Fathi for MacRumors:

Just two years after unveiling chips based on the 5nm process, Apple may plan to make a direct jump to 3nm as soon as next year.

Apple has already reportedly booked TSMC’s entire production capacity for 4nm chips for Apple silicon Macs. That report, however, has no timeline as to when Macs with 4nm chips may debut.

The A14 Bionic chip, first introduced in an updated iPad Air and later put into the iPhone 12 series, is built on the 5nm process. Compared to earlier processes, the smaller architecture provides improved performance and increased energy efficiency.

MacDailyNews Take: 3nm is really getting down there! If all goes well, the speed and efficiency of Apple’s Macs, iPads, and iPhones will remain unmatched for years to come.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Isn’t it likely how any company that uses TSMC for fabrication will be able to get the same node size as what Apple is getting? Usually, whatever node size Apple uses for smartphones, Qualcomm also uses that node size. I didn’t realize Apple had exclusive node size. TSMC would probably try to maximize the number of chips being fabricated in order to make the new machinery cost effective unless Apple is allowed to buy out all production on a machine.

    1. The article explains how Apple has booked the entire 4nm manufacturing capacity. I’m sure they will have made similar arrangements for 3nm production too.

      Rivals will have to wait until that technology is made available to them too.

      1. True, but that may only go as far as how soon TSMC can bring additional 3nm and 4nm capacity online after what is promised to Apple. That is unless there is something in the contract that forces TSMC to refrain from increasing capacity for a time. Doubt it though since that would become an anti-competitive practice

    2. It’s simple.

      Apple pays a premium to get their chips (Apple designed chips, TSMC manufactured) manufactured first. Apple pays a premium to get 100% of the wafers coming off the fab line.

      Apple has, and never will have, exclusive rights to all capacity of 5 nm, 4 nm, or 3 nm nodes forever. They just pay a premium to get 10 capacity at each node for0% of several first during production ramp up and initial months of full production few This gives Apple an edge — sometimes a huge edge, sometimes not so much.months.

  2. I don’t have to wonder. Prices in a free economy are set by the intersection of supply and demand. Since early 2020, both sides were suppressed by a global pandemic. Thanks to vaccinations (and other factors) demand has returned almost to prior levels. Thanks to those who are unvaccinated (and other factors) supply has not recovered as quickly. Scarcity drives up prices. Wonder no more.

    1. To begin with, these are not “illegals.” Almost everybody who is arrested crossing the border is immediately sent back. You can tell that because there have been roughly a million arrests but only 448,000 unique individuals (7% fewer than at this point in 2019). The other half million were deportees who tried to renter and were arrested again before being expelled again.

      The only people who are not sent back are those who make a facially valid case for asylum, and those people are legally in the United States until there is an adverse determination of their claim. That isn’t due to libtard craziness; it is what the Supreme Law of the Land — federal statutes and treaties — require. If you read the emergency declarations by the border cities and counties, they all correctly identify the problem as a flood of legal, not illegal, migrants.

      The overall test positivity rate among migrants entering the US along the Texas border is about 15%. The rate among native Texans who are already here is almost 19%. About a year ago, there were riots at a point of entry near El Paso because the local residents didn’t want any more trucks from the US bringing the virus into Mexico. The health crisis in Texas is not being caused by migrants, but by those who are unvaccinated. Only a small fraction of that number are not citizens or permanent US residents.

      Yes, the positivity rate is higher in the Laredo group you mention, What About, because the migrants who do not test positive are sent for housing in the interior of the US. Only those in family groups where someone tests positive are kept off the planes and buses and near the border where they can be isolated. So, your 40% figure is about as surprising as the news that most of the people in a hospital are sick.

      1. Laredo, TX is shipping hundreds of illegals north to Austin and east to Houston every single day. None of them are being tested for COVID.

        200 a day = 1,400 per week
        That is 5,600 monthly
        How many months has this been going on?
        How much longer will it continue? 2024? (that would be 39 months at 5,600 = 218,400 from just one town)

        Laredo. Population 260,000+

        5,600 per month. One town.

        You don’t want to call them illegals. That is fine. But, we all know what they are. We all know who invited them. We all know who is doing nothing about it. We all know who does NOT care about covid. We all know who doesn’t care about the vaccination rate in the US. We all know who has to pay for these HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of “legal illegals.”

        So, TxUSSR, you can continue threading the needle with technical language, fake data, moving science and other misinformation crap. I’m so happy you live in a country which permits you to do so. Your crap, your right. But, we can easily see what is going on behind your thin veil of smoke and broken mirrors. That is our right. That is the great USA!

        1. Yes, the conclusions you are drawing from the numbers are wrong. A new migrant is more likely to catch COVID-19 from a permanent American resident than the other way around.

          If people have trouble believing government, it is because we spent four years with a man who couldn’t even tell the truth about the crowd at his own inauguration.

      1. I respond to false statements because liars should not be able to misrepresent facts without contradiction. I would much prefer to avoid off-topic comments entirely. At one point, MDN consistently deleted such comments. I was very happy when they did so today, even though some of the deleted comments were mine.

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