Apple books out initial production run of next-generation 4 nm wafers from TSMC for its new Mac chips
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Apple will be among the first companies to fit its devices with next-generation 4 nm silicon according to Taiwanese supply-chain Digitimes. The Cupertino giant has used its muscle to book out the first run of 4 nm wafers to be produced using TSMC’s state-of-the-art process node. The chips will be headed not to Apple’s next iPhone, but its Mac line including its redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro and all-new iMac. The iPhone’s A15 SoC will, instead, be produced on TSMC’s refined 5 nm Plus process.
The performance of the 5 nm-based Apple M1 processor found in the current MacBook Air, Mac mini and low-end 13-inch MacBook Pro has blown observers away. Its performance-per-Watt far outstrips the x86 competition from both Intel and AMD and runs rings around the latest x86 chips in terms of single-core performance. As such, expectations are high for what Apple is cooking up for its more performance oriented Apple Silicon models. Apple has pointed more than once that both its custom Arm-based architecture and in-house GPU designs are scalable so we are expecting fireworks.
It was only earlier today that YouTuber iCave Dave has estimated that a purported Apple M1Z chip and an M1P will definitely make people stand up and take notice. iCave Dave crunched the numbers and found that the M1Z with a 20-core CPU and 32-core iGPU would theoretically outperform the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X while sipping substantially less power. The numbers for the purported 128-core GPU in the Apple M1P part could theoretically outstrip the performance of an Nvidia RTX 3080.
The eagerly awaited launch of the next wave of Apple Silicon Macs is expected to start with the launch of the next-generation redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and iMacs currently forecast to launch in the second half of 2021.