Apple iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic won’t be based on 3nm process, confirms TSMC

Apple iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic won’t be based on 3nm process, confirms TSMC
iPhone 13 won't feature a 3nm chipsetUnsplash
  • You might have to wait for the iPhone 14 for a 3nm chipset.
  • TSMC confirms 3nm process to go into production after the second half of 2022.
  • The iPhone 13’s chipset likely to be based on the same 5nm process as its predecessor.
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 series will not run a 3nm chipset. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s biggest contract semiconductor foundry which also makes chipsets for the Cupertino giant -- has denied the rumours around next-gen iPhones using chips based on the 3nm process. A 3nm chip will have a smaller footprint with better power efficiency and performance over the 5nm A14 Bionic chip, which is already the most powerful mobile chipset available

Some reports have already suggested that the upcoming iPhone 13-series will use Apple's A15 chip based on the same 5nm process seen on A14 Bionic chips used in the iPhone 12-series. Now, the foundry makes it clear that the reports are true and we might see the 3nm chips on the iPhone 14 next year.

According to PhoneArena, TSMC has confirmed that the design process for the 3nm chipsets will commence later this year, with the mass production estimated to begin only after the second half of 2022. Earlier, there were rumours claiming that TSMC has preponed its production schedule, but TSMC has rubbished those reports today. Usually, it takes a year for a chip to enter into production and be ready to be shipped to a phone.

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Earlier this month, TSMC shared its plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to keep up with demand. Bloomberg reports that TSMC now expects investments of about $30 billion on capacity expansions and upgrades this year, after spending $8.8 billion.

With all those plans in the pipeline, it looks likely that the foundry might be on schedule to deliver the 3nm node on time for the Apple iPhone 14.


While TSMC will be sourcing the 3nm chips to Apple, Qualcomm is rumoured to be sticking to Samsung foundry for another year. To recall, after working with TSMC for two years, Qualcomm partnered with Samsung for its 5nm chip -- the Snapdragon 888 -- powering premium Android phones in 2021. There's no concrete report on Qualcomm's plan for a 3nm chip as of now.

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