iPhone 14 rumour: TSMC on track to mass produce more powerful and efficient 3nm chipset
Last year, TSMC became the first to make smartphone chipsets using 5nm process node. And the first handset to get it was the Apple iPhone 12 series (A14 Bionic). It also has the a 5nm chip powering the iPad Air 2020 and latest Mac devices. On the Android side of things, we got 5nm chips with Snapdragon 888 and the recently announced Samsung Exynos 2100. These two are said to be produced by Samsung foundry. Although there could be a competition between these two chipmakers, it looks like TSMC will take the cake as it is now said to begin mass producing more efficient 3nm process node chipset by next year (2022).
According to a report by Digitimes, the processor maker will start a risk production of its 3nm chips this year, with volume production starting in the second half of next year.
During the quarterly earnings of the foundry, TSMC CEO CC Wei said, “Our N3 technology development is on track with good progress. We are seeing a much higher level of customer engagement for both HPC and smartphone application at N3 as compared with N5 and N7 at a similar stage.”
This also means that if TSMC follows the roadmap, you might see next year's iPhone, aka iPhone 14, as the first to come with 3nm processor. It can be used in the A16 Bionic. It's worth mentioning that in November last year, TSMC completed the plant structure for its 3nm fab at Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP).
For those unaware, A14 Bionic has 134 million transistors per square mm, as compared to 89.9 7 million transistors per square on the 7nm A13 Bionic. More number of transistors also means that the chipset can do a lot more in a more efficient way.