iPhone 15 Could be Costlier; TSMC likely to charge Apple More for 3nm Chips

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iPhone 15 Could be Costlier

Rumors and leaks regarding next year's Apple iPhone have already started pouring in. A new report suggests that Apple's contract chip manufacturer for Bionic chipsets, TSMC, is likely to charge more for its 3-nanometer fabrication process. Reportedly, TSMC could charge around 25 percent more compared to its fees for the 5nm process.

 

When TSMC switched from a 7nm to a 5nm node, the wafer pricing was hiked by about 60 percent. It went up from $10,000/wafer to $16,000/wafer. If the reports hold true, the Taiwanese company might charge over ₹20,000 for the new 3nm wafers. Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 series will be plonked with its new Bionic chip built on TSMC's 3nm fabrication process in 2023 and is likely to come at a premium price.

For the unversed, Apple currently uses the TSMC-manufactured A15 Bionic and the A16 Bionic for its iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series respectively. The association between the two giants goes long back and Apple prefers TSMC's manufacturing for its mobile processors over Samsung.

TSMC 3nm Chip Manufacturing Details

TSMC is all set to commence the production of the 3nm chips at its foundry in Tainan city in Taiwan. The company claims that it will be utilizing the new FinFet transistor structure, which is touted to deliver high performance and improved power efficiency.

The 3nm process is expected to offer about 10-15 percent improvement in performance and 25 to 30 percent reduced energy consumption compared to the previous 5nm process. Moreover, the logic density is set to be increased by 1.6 times.

 

TSMC will also be focussing more on chip packaging as it will be making use of the 3D chip stacking technology for the N3 process. This would also allow TSMC to boost its production capacity by 20 times by the year 2026.

Furthermore, TSMC has announced its plans to manufacture the 3nm chips at its Phoenix, Arizona plant in the US apart from Taiwan. Its ₹12 billion manufacturing facility will churn out 5nm and 3nm chips as per its phase 2 plan. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, expressed his concern about the 60 percent of the world's chipset supply coming from Taiwan currently. The new production facility in the US will be a stepping stone in diversifying chipset manufacturing.

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