Next-gen 2nm chips by TSMC on track to mass production in 2H25

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Looks like Apple will be the first to get its hands on 2nm chips. Apple’s largest chip supplier TSMC will fab the 2nm chips for iPhones to power the devices in the second half of 2025 giving the iPhone 17 a manifold boost in terms of performance and power efficiency.

TSMC is expected to begin production of 2nm chips in the second half of 2025. This will be a massive move from 3nm used across the iPhone 15 Pro series powered by A17 Pro chipsets as well as the M3 series. For context, upgrading from 5nm chips to 3nm gave A17 Pro 2x faster neural engine, 10% faster CPU speeds, and 20% faster GPU speeds to name a few.

Upgrading to a 2nm node means more transistors can be embedded on a chip thanks to their smaller sizes which translates into better performance and lower power consumption. Each successive node or enhanced technology brings an increase in transistor density, performance, and efficiency.

Apple is the largest customer of TSMC and thus, gets an upper hand in terms of new technologies and 2nm chips won’t be any different. The Taiwanese-based TSMC is already building two facilities for 2nm chip production and waiting for approval on the third one. Usually, TSMC increases its production capacity to accommodate significant orders which means 2nm technology will be a big thing once it arrives later next year.

Apple A17 Pro chips are fabbed on a 3nm process – the first in smartphones

TSMC will adopt GAAFET (or gate-all-around field-effect transistors) which are transistors embedded in nanosheets allowing gates to cover channels on four sides thereby reducing the current leaks and increasing the efficiency by manifold. The GAAFET is a complex procedure compared to the currently used FinFET. Samsung Foundry is already using GAAFET on its 3nm chips, however, its yield is at 60% which means 40 out of 100 wafer dies fail to meet the stringent quality control meaning more cost to the chipmaker that ultimately traverses to the end user.

TSMC will wait till the 2nm fab to get the fabrication node rolled out to power the new lineup of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. At present, the chip maker has made significant improvements in the 3nm nodes where it uses N3E and N3P chips. There are high-performance N3X and N3AE chips for automotive applications in the works for use in the future.

The Next Frontier – 1.4nm Chips by 2025

Albeit TSMC is working on upgrading from 3nm chips to 2nm in 2025, the chip-making giant is already working on 1.4nm chips that will power future iPhones and other devices. Officially dubbed an A14 or 1.4nm technology, these chips are likely to arrive sometime in 2027. It is because the N2 2nm chips are in the pipeline for production in late 2025 followed by enhanced N2P nodes in late 2026. These 1.4nm chips will underpin Apple’s silicon chips powering the Macs and other devices as well.

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