As Apple shifts to 3nm orders from TSMC, the Taiwanese company will see a slowdown in 5nm chip production. According to one report, the semiconductor manufacturer is experiencing healthy production of its cutting-edge process, owing primarily to A17 Bionic and M3 orders, which are expected to be found in a variety of products.
According to MacRumors, iPhone orders on TSMC’s 5nm process have dropped by 30%, as reported by DigiTimes. This was to be expected as Apple moves to 3nm architecture for the A17 Bionic and M3. At the moment, the technology giant appears to be the only client using TSMC’s 3nm wafers, which could be due to a price increase implemented by the latter a few months ago.
With Apple reportedly being the only customer with access to TSMC’s 3nm shipments, it is clear that the manufacturer’s plant will not be operating at full capacity.
Even so, given the number of iPhones Apple sells in a calendar year, it is sufficient for TSMC to use its facility at 70% capacity. The remaining 30% can be added if Apple’s demand increases in the fourth quarter of this year.
However, the remaining capacity can be used for TSMC’s N3E process (an improved version of N3), which could be chosen in the future by Qualcomm and MediaTek. For the time being, the M3, which is expected to arrive in the coming months for the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Air models, is the first chip to properly take advantage of the 3nm process.
Apple will add the A17 Bionic to its 3nm chip family, but it will only be available for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus expected to use the A16 Bionic.
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