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iPhone 14 missed 3nm, TSMC still has remedies?

The 5nm chip process will be launched in 2020, and chips such as Huawei Kirin 9000, Apple A14, Samsung Exynos 2100, MediaTek Dimensity 1200, and Qualcomm 888 all use this process.

In 2021, TSMC and Samsung will still stay at 5nm, so Apple A15 and the flagship chips to be launched by Samsung, Qualcomm, MediaTek and other manufacturers will all use 5nm.

According to the previous plans of TSMC and Samsung, it will enter 3nm in 2022, so everyone thinks that next year, mobile phone chip manufacturers may launch new chips based on 3nm, such as A16.

But what makes people unexpected is that, from the current situation, at least next year, Apple’s A16, that is, the iPhone 14, may not use the 3nm process, at most 4nm, or even 5nm.

As for why, TSMC really has to carry this pot, because TSMC’s 3nm process is delayed, and it cannot mass-produce as planned.

TSMC said that the 3nm process is too complicated, so the progress is not ideal. The original plan was to deliver it to customers in the second half of 2022, so that it can catch up with the A16 and supply the iPhone 14.

But because it is too complicated, it is not expected to be delivered to customers until early 2023. TSMC said that this is responsible for customers, and it must be verified with the first customer before it can be shipped and delivered in real batches.

The iPhone 14 cannot be delivered until 2023, so it is obvious that the A16 chip on the iPhone 14 cannot use the 3nm process of TSMC.

However, TSMC has also made another preparation for the A16 chip, that is, it has launched the N4P process. Compared with N4, this process is an enhanced version of 4nm from the outside world, but it is actually an improved version of the 5nm process.

However, compared with TSMC’s N5 (5nm), the N4P process has a more compact Transistor density, and the area is 6% smaller than that of the n5. In terms of performance, compared with the original N5 (5nm) process, the performance can be improved by 11%.

Is this a remedy for TSMC? After all, Apple is TSMC’s largest customer. If Apple runs away and goes to Samsung, TSMC will lose a lot.

Next, it depends on whether Samsung can produce 3nm and deliver it before TSMC, and whether it can catch up with the release of the iPhone 14, then Samsung still has a great chance. After all, Samsung has also snatched Apple’s 14nm chip orders from TSMC before.

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