TSMC is preparing its 3nm node for volume production by 2022 next year, and the Apple M3 chip is expected to be one of the first chips from the fab line.
The report on TSMC comes from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, which indicates that TSMC is already moving test production from its 3nm process, known as its N3 line, to Apple in the last few months of 2022. With an eye to expedite production for shipment. and Intel in early 2023.
This node is expected to produce Apple’s third generation of silicon, the M3, for use in its MacBook and iMac products. The next-gen M2, with the launch of a new MacBook Air expected to be released sometime next year, is expected to use TSMC’s 4nm, or N4, process node.
In addition to the M3 for the new MacBooks and iMacs, the 3nm node is also expected to produce A15 chips for the iPhone 17.
Analysis: What could the next-gen Apple chip look like?
The infamous Apple hasn’t said anything about its roadmap for Apple silicon, and we really don’t know anything about the M2, much less the M3.
But as Mac Rumors points out, there’s already a lot of speculation about what the 2023 Apple chips might bring.
An industry analyst says the M3 chip could have four dies, with up to 40 cores in its CPU. For perspective, the M1 has eight cores, while the M1 Pro and M1 Max have up to 10 cores.
What all those extra cores will mean for the power efficiency of the chip is unclear, especially since we don’t know what the breakdown between performance and efficiency cores will be.
A 40-core CPU would also be physically huge, but it’s not like the AMD Threadripper is small, and it turns out fine. Given Apple’s level of control over their hardware design, they can make the chip as big or small as they want. Who, after all, isn’t going to tell them?
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