Intel, Apple Become First to Adopt Latest 3nm TSMC’s Chip

Apple Become First To Adopt Latest 3nm TSMC’s Chip

There are numerous reports that Intel and Apple will become the first customers to adopt TSMC’s next generation of chip fabrication technology. Both companies are testing their chip designs with TSMC’s N3 process and could start its deployment as early as next year, as per Nikkei Asia.

The N3 process is due to enter its production phase in late 2022

TSMC’s N3 manufacturing process is the all-new node that’ll offer a full node PPA (performance, power, area) improvement over N5.

According to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s, “3nm technology can reduce the power consumption by 30% ( at the same clocks and complexity) while boosting performance up to 15% (at the same power and transistor count), gain in logical density up to 70%, and improvement in SRAM density up to 20% in comparison to 5nm technology.”

3nm TSMC chipset
3nm TSMC chipset

In simpler terms, there will be long-lasting devices without increasing the size of batteries or offering the same runtimes as older generation laptops and tablets with lighter, smaller, and cheaper batteries.

TSMC also confirmed that N3 is designed to support both – smartphones and high-performance computing (HPC) applications, offering both high-performance and high-density libraries with the node. Such libraries will enable companies like Intel to maximize CPUs performance and allowing SoC designers to pack more features into their products. Currently, the most advanced chip that Apple is using for consumer products is TSMCs 5-nm technology for all iPhone 12 processor chips.

Apple will be the first mega-company to launch a device powered by N3 technology. Where Apple is expecting to launch next-gen iPads powered by processors using 3nm technology, Intel is working on the designs for data center servers and notebooks.

As per one of the sources, “The chip volume planned Intel is much bigger than Apple’s next-gen iPad powered by 3-nm technology.”

There were also reports that Apple has partnered up with TSMC in the node’s risk production. Once the N3 node’s mass production begins, Intel will reportedly join Apple as one of TSMC’s first customers to benefit from it in an attempt to regain the market shares it has lost to Nvidia and AMD in the last few years.

Assuming these reports to be true, we can assume that Apple and Intel have already finalized their N3 CPUs and SoCs. However, we aren’t sure whether both of these mega Corps have functional silicon.

The reports also say that Apple’s next-gen iPad tablets powered by N3 SoC are due in late 2022 or early 2023. Currently, Apple’s latest iPad Pros is integrated with the same SoCs as entry-level and midrange Macs. There is also a possibility that Macs will be integrated with the initial N3 SoC and smartphones with subsequent N3- based devices. However, Apple didn’t share any comments on the story.

Moreover, Intel is currently working on two products, one for Notebooks and another for servers, and confirmed that TSMC would be present in its 2023 products lineup, without mentioning which technology will be employed.

Source:
Intel and Apple First to Adopt TSMC’s 3nm Technology: Report
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-intel-set-to-use-tsmc-3nm-node-for-2023-products-report

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