Apple's 2022 iPhone chip likely to be a 3nm part as TSMC readies mass production

iPhones (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • TSMC is getting ready for 3nm chip mass production in the second half of next year.
  • It's likely Apple's 2022 iPhones will use the new chips.

TSMC is readying mass production of its first 3nm chips for the second half of next year, according to a new report. That means there's a good chance that Apple's iPhone 14 lineup will make use of the new manufacturing process for its A16 SoC.

While moving to a smaller die doesn't necessarily guarantee improved performance, it does tend to usher in improved speeds, better power management, and fewer thermal issues.

According to a DigiTimes report, the 2022 chips will make use of a 3nm process.

TSMC is fast advancing its manufacturing processes, and it is expected to move its N4, namely 4nm, node to risk production in the third quarter of 2021, with N3 - 3nm node - to start volume production at the world's number-one pure-play foundry house in second-half 2022.

That quote may also suggest that Apple's A15 chip, to be part of iPhone 13, will make us of a new 4nm process.

The same report also notes that TSMC is warning clients that they will be raising service fees once more due to the ongoing "tight semiconductor manufacturing capacity."

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 13 lineup this fall, likely in September. If all goes according to plan the 3nm chip-powered iPhone 14 will presumably ship a year later in the fall of 2022.

Of course, nobody likes to wait. Anyone who would rather get themselves a new iPhone now should check out the best iPhone 12 deals we've been able to find.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.