Apple chipmaker moving ahead toward 2nm processors in 2025


TSMC looks ahead to super-speedy 2nm processors
2nm processors made by TSMC will be faster while using less power than today's 5nm iPhone and Mac chips.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Getting 2nm processors into Mac and iPhone is reportedly proceeding as scheduled, and TSMC will begin making these in 2025.

The on-schedule progress report comes as very good news. Especially considering that the Taiwanese chipmaker ran into significant delays developing the 3nm processors currently in use.

2nm TSMC chips on schedule for 2025

Although the Apple name is on the A-series and M-series processors, and the chips are designed in Cupertino, they are made by TSMC using production technology the chipmaker developed.

The move from 5nm to 3nm processors in Apple computers was supposed to happen in 2022. However, TSMC couldn’t iron out the bugs in production. This delayed the launch by a year.

That’s not going to happen with the next generation. Digitimes reported Tuesday:

“TSMC is on track to move 2nm process technology to risk production at its new fab on the Baoshan campus of the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP) in northern Taiwan in the fourth quarter of 2024, followed by volume production in the second quarter of 2025.”

If correct, that’s in time to get the chips in the iPhone 17.

Headed for Apple

Although Apple hasn’t officially committed itself, it’s an open secret that the company will adopt TSMC 2nm chips in 2025. One published report even went so far as to predict that Apple would take the entire initial supply.

This would be typical of the close relationship Apple and TSMC have. The A17 Pro in the iPhone 15 Pro models and the M3 chips in the new MacBook Pro and iMac were all produced with TSMC’s 3nm process.

The Taiwanese foundry has generally been able to shrink the components of Apple’s chips every year or two, allowing the devices they power to work faster while generating less waste heat.

Add the design improvements made in Cupertino — like an enhanced Neural Engine coming in 2024’s A18 — and the A series and M series processors have stayed on the cutting edge.


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