Except they are frequently referred to as 4nm and 5nm, TSMC debuted the N4 node as an expansion of their N5 node last year. Later this year, according to the business, shipment of chips based on the N3 next-generation node will begin.
Some forthcoming iPads are apparently going to employ the N3 node. However, the upgraded N3E node, which will boost performance and efficiency and, even better, has been engineered to be more cost-effective, will be the foundation of the following significant update to Apple silicon.
TSMC 3nm node (N3E)
According to Nikkei Asia, the Apple A17 will utilize the N3E node and will begin mass production in the second part of 2019. N3E is also anticipated to be used in the next M3 Mac chip family.
The current Apple A16 processor, which is only used in the iPhone 14 Pro pair, is manufactured on the same N4 node as the Dimensity 9000/9000+ and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The A15 (N5) from last year is used in the stock iPhone 14 pair.
Analysts predict that the scenario will be similar next year, with the A17 processor being held for the iPhone 15 Pro models and a less technically advanced node being used by non-Pro phones (The A16 chip is actually known.)
While TSMC has created “FinFlex” for the N3 and N3E nodes, it should be noted that these nodes (N5, N4, and N3) continue to use FinFet designs. Customers will be able to adjust the chip speed vs. chip size ratio to suit their demands as a result. With the TSMC N2 node, gate-all-around designs (based on nanosheets) will be available.
Samsung has begun to market chips made on their 3nm node, and these processors use a Gate-All-Around architecture. Three insiders allege that the order has been postponed until 2024 from the original agreement that Intel had signed to build some 3nm chips at TSMC foundries this year or early next year.