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Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch its flagship iPhone models later this year with 3-nanometer chips fabricated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The chip is expected to be branded as the “A17 Bionic” by Apple and will be a significant improvement over the A14 Bionic, A15 Bionic, and A16 Bionic chips used in previous models, all of which were fabricated using a 5-nanometer process.
The smaller the distance between transistors on a chip, the better the performance and efficiency. The switch to 3nm chips is expected to lead to a combination of performance and efficiency improvements, which could allow Apple to strike its own balance between the two.
The company may choose to focus more heavily on efficiency, thereby improving battery life, or drastically increase performance capabilities while keeping battery life and efficiency roughly the same.
In a preview of a paywalled report, Digitimes reiterated that industry sources expect the next-generation iPhone slated for launch this fall to feature 3nm chips fabricated by TSMC.
Apple is also expected to continue bifurcating the iPhone lineup based on processor technology, with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus likely to use last year’s A16 Bionic while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max (or iPhone Ultra) will use the A17 Bionic.
Beyond the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the A17 Bionic processor will serve as the basis for the M3 chips that Apple will use in the Mac and future iPad models.