Apple will opt for 3nm chips for iPhone Pro and non-Pro models in 2024

Apple is expected to start receiving 3nm chips from TSMC later this year, but they will arrive too late to be used in the iPhone 14 series which will be unveiled in less than six weeks. And once Apple starts using 3nm chipsets next year, you won’t find them in all iPhones until 2024. For those unfamiliar with this nomenclature, 3nm is the last process node used to produce the most advanced chips available today. The lower the number, the greater the number of transistors in a particular chip. The more transistors in a chip, the more powerful and energy efficient it is.

The new iPhone 14 Pro models will be powered by the A16 Bionic which will be manufactured by TSMC using the latter’s 4nm process node. Non-Pro models will reuse the 5nm A15 Bionic found under the hood of all iPhone 13 series phones. With 15 billion transistors in each chip, the A15 Bionic is no weakling at 98 pounds. But Apple has traditionally used the latest chip to power all new iPhone models when they’re released.
While many consumers have no idea what application processor (AP) powers their phones, some might feel like they’re being ripped off by paying a premium price for a new phone with a one-generation chipset. . The A15 Bionic is still powerful enough that those completely unaware of their iPhone specs probably won’t notice any issues. Considering Apple won’t use 3nm chipsets in all iPhone models until 2024, the odds are in favor Apple is repeating that next year with iPhone 15 Pro models using 3nm A17 Bionic chips and non-Pro models powered by the 4nm A16 Bionic.
Even when Apple manages to put 3nm chips in Pro and non-Pro versions of the iPhone 16 in 2024, different versions of these chips could still be used to differentiate expensive iPhone models from more affordable ones. It seems like a strategy that is here to stay.

Apple isn’t the only chip designer that TSMC manufactures 3nm chips for. By 2024, the world’s largest independent foundry is expected to deploy 3nm silicon for AMD, MediaTek, Qualcomm and others.

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