TSMC, the iPhone chipmaker, announced that it will start 2nm chip production by 2025. This is the first time the manufacturer states when it’s going to produce its ultra-advanced new chips, as Samsung and Intel made a similar announcements.
According to Nikkei Asia, TSMC made this announcement at an in-person event, and it’s the first time the iPhone chipmaker has specifically pinned down a schedule for its 2nm chip production.
The Taiwanese chip titan said its 2nm tech will be based on “nanosheet transistor architecture” to deliver significant improvements in performance and power efficiency. Nanosheet architecture is a completely different infrastructure from the Finfet infrastructure used for 5nm chips, currently the most advanced on the market. Such new tech requires massive investments to make available.
Recently, 9to5Mac reported that while Apple is using 5nm TSMC chips on its iPhones and Macs, the company is pushing the chipmaker to produce a 3-nanometer processor for Macs as soon as 2023.
Apple also just recently announced its new M2 chip for the Mac, which is based on the A15 Bionic series, and it still uses the same 5-nanometer design. According to our previous coverage, this 3nm processor could feature “as many as four dies, with up to 40 CPU cores in total per chip. The three versions of the third-generation chip are reportedly codenamed ‘Ibiza,’ ‘Lobos,’ and ‘Palma.’”
Nikkei Asia gave some background on how the iPhone maker announcement is important not only for Apple but for TSMC itself.
Intel has pledged to regain chip manufacturing tech leadership by 2025. The company first disclosed its 1.8nm technology — what it calls 18A technology — in mid-2021. This year, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said this tech is “six months ahead of schedule” and pushed ahead the timetable to the end of 2024.
Samsung said in April that it will produce 3nm chips by the end of June this year.
Creating smaller chips is very challenging because TSMC needs to squeeze more transistors onto the tiny processor. By doing this, the iPhone chipmaker helps Apple save space for other technologies in its products, and, of course, even bigger batteries.
Author: José Adorno