Apple Supplier TSMC Says It’s Still on Track to Make 2nm Chips in 2025

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Key Takeaways

  • TSMC dispelled rumors of delays in its 2nm chip process, which is on track for 2025.
  • The new technique should deliver further gains in performance and efficiency.
  • Apple is well-placed for using 2nm parts in iPhones and Macs.

TSMC is still set to help Apple and other companies move to 2-nanometer (2nm) chips next year.

The Taiwanese semiconductor giant is moving forward at pace with the 2nm node, as reported by Business Korea. The company’s VP of Process Development, Zhang Xiaogang, said that development was “progressing smoothly” with mass production on track for 2025.

TSMC is the only contender to deliver the quantity and quality of 2nm and 3nm semiconductors that Apple requires, with the US multinational giant booking out all existing chipmaking capacity. The company is striving to increase production by 300% by the end of the current year to meet demand.

Rumors had suggested the world’s largest maker of advanced chips for customers like Apple and NVIDIA would be hamstrung by technical difficulties required for the first-time application of Gate All Around (GAA) technology, requiring 2nm plans to be pushed back until 2026. 

However, Zhang dismissed the fears, claiming that the yield for GAA “reached 90% of the target,” with production on course to ramp up in the coming months. This news might satisfy Apple after its COO Jeff Williams reportedly made a discreet visit to Taiwan to thrash out terms on the supply of 2nm chips with TSMC President Wei Zheija.

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro is fuelled by the A17 Pro chip, made using TSMC’s existing 3nm settings, while its M4 chip, recently unveiled in the new iPad Pro, uses an updated revision of the 3nm tech. M3-based MacBook Air and Pro models also use 3nm parts. The technology has had relatively little traction elsewhere.

The 3nm process is considered fast and efficient, but the 2nm breakthrough will raise the bar higher. Early indications suggest 10% to 15% upgrades to performance, while power consumption could be reduced by up to 30%.

Apple’s iPhone 17 showcase next year (likely in September) could see the debut of the first 2nm chips, although it wouldn’t be surprising if there were other products before then.

Last month, during TSMC’s earnings call for the first quarter, the company suggested it would increase the cost of chips made outside of Taiwan as the company reacts to pressures on its profitability. 

It sounded the price warning as governments and big tech firms are aware of the geopolitical risks of having more than 90% of the world’s chips made in the country.