Apple is well on its way to using chips built with transistors at a 3-nanometer scale, meaning the 2023 iPhone and more will reach new levels of performance and efficiency. Every year, some doubt creeps in that technology might be nearing the end of its progress when challenges arise, yet so far those hurdles have always been surmounted or a way is found around the problem. Once again, a significant size reduction has been achieved that continues the amazing advance to faster and longer-lasting iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers into 2023 and beyond.
Apple‘s latest iPhone is powered by an A15 chip made with an enhanced 5-nanometer process, allowing new capabilities, such as Cinematic Mode video that applies portrait bokeh blur to every frame in a split second. That simply wasn’t possible before, even though the previous generation’s A14 was also manufactured with a 5-nanometer scale. This is an example of stepping around a hurdle. Since the 3-nanometer process wasn’t available, optimizing the current chip and incorporating specific code at the silicon level allows Apple to tune the chip to meet its goals.
Related: 2022 iPad Pro Could Launch With 3nm Chip: Here’s Why That Matters
A new report from supply chain leaker Digitimes indicates that TSMC will begin 3nm production in the second half of 2022, making a large number of processors for its top client, Apple, and making it first-in-line for the benefits of this improved manufacturing process. The iPad is expected to be the first device to use the new technology, however, 3-nanometer chips will be used for the iPhone 15, Mac, and MacBook computers as well, extending the performance of Apple‘s M series chips even further. Processor performance is expected to increase by 10 to 15-percent and efficiency gains are between 20 to 30-percent. The great thing about manufacturing node improvement is that any speed and power reduction happens without Apple making any other changes to these devices. Any special image, audio, or neural processing that Apple can place in the silicon will push the chips to even higher performance levels.
iPhone, iPad & Mac 3nm Chips
Apple is currently in production on the devices to be released in 2022 and these will no doubt bring significant improvements over the 2021 models. There are so many components that make up an iPhone, iPad, and Mac that there are plenty of ways to add great value beyond the chips. That said, 2023 should be a particularly exciting year for Apple devices since that is when the 3-nanometer processors will be ready for launch.
For the iPhone, a faster A17 might allow Cinematic mode at 4K resolution. The iPad Pro with an M3 chip could gain enhanced LiDAR speed to handle higher quality scans feeding the upcoming AR revolution. For the Mac, Apple might have something incredible planned if the already amazing speed of an M3 Max is quadrupled to make an M3 Ultra Max. Apple’s 2022 lineup will be great, but 2023 might be unbelievable.