Leak outlines the Apple SoCs set to rely on TSMC's N3 node
Reports of what node Apple has settled on for not M2 SoCs but M3 SoCs has begun circulating online, courtesy of DigiTimes. Citing unnamed industry sources, DigiTimes claims that TSMC has already begun pilot production of N3 nodes, thought to be manufactured on a 3 nm process.
While that clarification may seem like a strange one, TSMC's N4P node relies on a 5 nm process, like N5. However, TSMC states that N4P should offer marked performance improvements compared to N5; N4P's benefits over N4 remain unknown.
Last month, The Information asserted that N3 would not be ready in time for the iPhone 14 series, due in Q3 2022. Now, DigiTimes believes that TSMC will begin mass-producing N3 nodes in Q4 2022, well outside scope for the presumed A16 Bionic. DigiTimes adds that customers like Apple will receive access to N3 nodes in Q1 2023, allowing them to produce SoCs for devices released later that year.
As a result, DigiTimes expects Apple to base its third-generation Silicon on TSMC's N3 node, tentatively called M3 by MacRumors. Additionally, N3 should arrive within the A17 Bionic's development schedule. By contrast, Apple's second-generation Silicon SoCs will utilise TSMC's N4P node, like the A16 Bionic.