Apple already makes some of the best smartphone and computer chips available. In 2023, they are poised to get even better with new 3nm designs.
3nm chip technology is expected to be the next big evolution for Apple hardware, and according to a new report, is slated to debut on iPhones and Macs starting in 2023. There are many things that make Apple devices stand out. They are well designed, have excellent software, and work seamlessly with each other. At the heart of almost every Apple product these days is a piece of silicone designed by Apple herself. Whether it’s the iPhone, Apple Watch, or Mac, a chipset made by Apple is the reason those devices perform as well as they do.
The last few years have been particularly exciting in this field. Apple officially left Intel in 2020 and began powering its Mac hardware with the M1 chip, which greatly increased the performance and efficiency of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac mini. In October 2021, Apple took this initiative one step further with its M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Combine that with the vastly improved battery life thanks to the new A15 chip in the latest iPhones, and it’s safe to say that Apple’s silicon is better now than ever.
However, if you think Apple’s chips are great now, they are ready to be even better in just a couple of years. According to a new report from Information, Apple and TSMC (its chipmaker partner) are expected to begin production of 3nm chips for use in iPhones and Macs in 2023. For Mac chips, specifically, the report says that Apple is working on three different versions. with the code names ‘Ibiza’, ‘Lobos’ and ‘Palma’. These 3nm Mac chips are reportedly capable of up to 40 CPU cores, a massive upgrade over the 10-core design used for the M1 Pro and M1 Max. The iPhone 3nm chip will almost certainly be a scaled-down version of this, but it is expected to still offer noticeably better speed and performance than the current A15 chip in the iPhone 13.
Apple to continue with 5nm chips in 2022
As exciting as 2023 looms, 2022 will be mostly quiet before the storm. This latest report from Information It says next year’s silicon will use an improved version of the 5nm design found in the A15 and M1 series chips. Larger Macs can get two matrices on top of one matrix’s current setup to double performance, but smaller devices like iPhones and MacBooks will make very modest profits. This supports another report from earlier in the week that says 3nm chips would not arrive in 2022 due to production issues.
Even with Apple’s 3nm chips coming in later than some expected, this probably won’t hurt Apple in any significant way. M1 Pro and M1 Max have already proven to be two of the most capable computer chips available right now. Similarly, A15 is still the most powerful silicon found in a smartphone. It’s hard to imagine these chips being dramatically better than they already are, but that’s exactly what the switch to 3nm promises.