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Apple orders 4nm chips from TSMC for next-generation Macs

4 min read
  • These new and more efficient chips will be the first of their kind.
  • Competitors such as Intel are far behind, with 7nm chips set for their 2023 roadmap.
  • This is just another chapter of Apple and TSMC’s leadership in processor technology.

According to the latest report from DigiTimes, Apple has reserved in-advance production lines for the chips that will power their next-generation Macs.

The report adds that these new chips will be manufactured by TSMC using their new 4nm manufacturing process. It’s worth nothing that last year, Apple released the first commercial mobile 5nm chip called A14 Bionic, currently powering the entire iPhone 12 series and the current iPad Air. Similarly, in 2018, Apple announced the first mainstream 7nm mobile processor, the A12 Bionic, which powered the entire iPhone XS and XR lineup as well as the 3rd generation Air, and recently, the 8th generation iPad. It makes logical sense for Apple to continue their innovation and keep their leadership in processor technology as they have been doing for the last decade.

However, this year’s iPhone processor, dubbed A15, is highly unlikely to be made using the new 4nm manufacturing process, since the new iPhones are rumored to start production as soon as next month. It's important to note that these new 4nm chips will enter volume production in Q4 2021, which definitely doesn’t leave any time in-between. Nevertheless, TSMC is rumored to use an enhanced version of their current 5nm design process for the upcoming A15. The process, called the N5 Plus process node, has a significantly higher yield rate. This will allow for greatly streamlined production, as less units will turn defective &mdashl which in return also makes the entire manufacturing process cheaper.

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