What you need to know

  • TSMC provides the Apple-designed A-series chips used in iPhones and iPads.
  • The company says it will have 3-nanometer chips ready in 2022.
  • Apple is likely to use 5-nanometer chips next year.

Apple's chip supplier TSMC says that it will have 3-nanometer chips ready by 2022. That's according to a new report by DigiTimes which cites the company's SVP for fab operations, JK Wang.

Wang says that TSMC is on course to have its 5-nanometer process ready for 2020, giving Apple a source of chips for the A14 chip that will likely power the next round of iPhones. And looking to 2022, Wang also says that his company plans to have 3-nanometer chips up and running, too.

While moving to a smaller process doesn't automatically mean chips will be capable of higher speeds, the two do normally come hand-in-hand. Smaller processes mean smaller chips while also reducing the amount of heat used during operation. That in turn tends to mean that chips can be made to work faster without getting too hot.

Apple is likely to announce its 2020 iPhones next September, complete with a new Apple-designed A14 chip. That's expected to use the 5-nanometer process which will be an improvement on the 7-nanometer A13 chips used in iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.