TSMC managed to complete the development of a 4nm processor ahead of schedule, and now it is moving to 3nm technology. The Taiwanese manufacturer is reported to have already signed a contract with two major customers – Apple and Intel.
As a reminder, we are talking about a nanometer, which refers to the width between transistors on a microcircuit. The smaller its number, the more perfect the chip, but at the same time, its production is more complicated and expensive. To date, TSMC’s 5nm technology is considered the most advanced, and is used in commercial products such as the iPhone 12 microcircuits.
However, in the second half of next year, 3nm processors are expected to be released. It should provide a 10-15% increase in performance or a 25-30% reduction in power consumption (compared to 5nm).
According to insiders, the first devices with 3nm chips to hit the market are likely to be the iPad. Most likely, it will be the iPad Pro with the new M2 chipsets. But the iPhone 14 is reportedly going to move to 4nm technology.
The situation with Intel is even more interesting. Now its own factories are rated at a maximum of 10 nm, so the company had to turn to TSMC for help. As a result, having skipped 5 and 7 nm, Intel will immediately switch to 3-nm technology. The manufacturer has ordered at least two types of chips that are designed for laptops and servers. Moreover, according to rumors, the company is going to reserve a significant part of TSMC’s orders for the release of 3-nanometer products.
Recall that MediaTek is working on a mobile SoC, which will be the first in the world to be built using a 4-nanometer process technology. The novelty is planned to be shown at the end of 2021 or at the beginning of 2022.