The A17 Bionic is said to be Apple’s first 3nm chip from TSMC, as well as possibly the world’s first 3nm chip. TSMC plans to begin mass production in the second half of this year, just in time for Apple to prepare the SoC for its top-tier iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra models.
In addition to both flagships appearing to ship with more exclusive features, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple has devoted more resources to the development of the A17 Bionic. He states that the fewer chipset upgrades there are, the more the company’s annual sales are expected to suffer.
According to Kuo, Apple will continue to use TSMC’s 3nm process until 2025, which means that the Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer will have improved iterations of its technology available to Apple.
In addition to focusing on improved battery savings, which is the true benefit of TSMC’s 3nm process, we may see Apple’s chip engineers introduce some welcome performance improvements and features such as ray tracing, which were supposed to be present in the A16 Bionic but were omitted in the final product.
All of this, however, means that the company will have to divert resources from its other in-house goals, which include its own 5G modem, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chip, giving Qualcomm and Broadcom plenty of leverage.
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