iPhone 15 could land older 3nm processor tech as TSMC overtakes Samsung for 2nm in 2025

The makers of Apple’s iPhone chipsets, TSMC, will expand their portfolio with 2nm processors in 2025, the foundry announced in a press release it sent us detailing its attendance at the 2022 North America Technology Symposium. Before that, though, TSMC will step on Samsung’s toes later this year with its own 3nm node development.

The 3nm chips are likely destined for Apple’s iPhones, as TSMC will ship them to customers in 2023. The 3nm node will be around until at least 2025 with five major iterations, TSMC said, and will improve the power-to-performance ratio in several ways, such as higher transistor density and adjustable voltages.

Speaking of voltages, TSMC’s FinFlex toolkit will be present in its 3nm acceleration, allowing Apple, Qualcomm and all other customers to play with various options to balance power consumption and performance at will to their sweet spot for cost efficiency. reach.

  • TSMC FINFLEXTM for N3 and N3E – TSMC’s industry-leading N3 technology, which will enter volume production later in 2022, will feature the revolutionary TSMC FINFLEXTM architectural innovation that provides unparalleled flexibility for designers. The TSMC FINFLEX™ innovation offers a choice of standard cells with a 3-2 fin configuration for ultra performance, a 2-1 fin configuration for best energy efficiency and transistor density, and a 2-2 fin configuration that balances the two for efficient performance. The TSMC FINFLEXTM architecture allows customers to create system-on-chip designs that are precisely tailored to their needs with functional blocks that implement the best-optimized fin configuration for the desired performance, power and surface purpose, and integrated on the same chip.

TSMC 2nm processor specifications

However, the 2nm node is more interesting. As the manufacturing process shrinks from today’s 4nm/5nm flagship processors, the performance bumps become negligible and the focus is on auxiliary functions that chip designers are capitalizing on.

However, the new 2nm node will be made with the new GAA FET (Gate All Around Field-Effect Transistors) technology that Samsung will be using in 3nm chips this year. While TSMC will be a few years late to the GAA FET lot, it promises up to 15% performance improvement or up to 30% power consumption reduction in the same footprint as 3nm chipsets.
  • N2 Technology – TSMC’s N2 technology represents another remarkable advancement over N3, offering a 10-15% speed improvement at the same power, or 25-30% power reduction at the same speed, ushering in a new era of efficient performance. N2 will feature a nanosheet transistor architecture to deliver a full performance and energy efficiency improvement to enable next-generation product innovations from TSMC customers. The N2 technology platform includes a powerful variant in addition to the basic version for mobile computers, as well as comprehensive chiplet integration solutions. Production of N2 is planned for 2025.

In reality, customers opt for a combination of these options and we usually end up with well-balanced processors that are only marginally faster than their predecessors on benchmarks, yet run more stable and economical.

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