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iPhone 14 may be powered by new 3nm chipsets, TSMC likely to start mass production in the second half of 2022

New technology enables the production of 3nm processors by combining several processes under a high vacuum. Apple stands to benefit from it as and when it goes to mass production.

Story highlights
  • Apple might be looking to reduce the size of its chipsets posts the A15 Bionic set to power this year's lineup.
  • A new technology now makes the production of such chipsets possible.
  • The resulting 3nm chipset with speed gains and better power efficiency might benefit Apple's future iPhones.

Apple might be gunning for smaller chipsets to enhance the capabilities of future iPhones. New reports indicate that the company will possibly be going for 3nm chips that offer speed gains and better power efficiency than the existing chipsets for iPhones coming in the next years.

The new chipsets will come in succession to the A15 processor set to feature this year's iPhone 13 lineup. The upgrade will be much important for Apple too. The reason being that even though the A15 Bionic will sport upgrades over the A14, it will be based on the same 5nm process.

Further notable enhancements will only be possible if Apple manages to cut down on the size of the processors. New technology might just allow the tech major to do that in the coming years.

A new report by Digitimes talks of advancements by US manufacturer Applied Materials as the way to achieve this. The newfound technology by the firm will enable the reengineering of the wiring of advanced chipsets, thus making it possible to scale them down to 3nm.

The new materials engineering solution is called the Endura Copper Barrier Seed IMS. The solution makes use of a high vacuum to combine seven different process technologies in one. These seven processes are mentioned to be "ALD, PVD, CVD, copper reflow, surface treatment, interface engineering and metrology."

The combination manages to eliminate a high-resistivity barrier at the interface, managing to turn down the resistivity by up to 50 per cent. This results in improved chip performance and power efficiency.

As pointed out by BGR, it is yet not clear if the technology by Applied Materials will be used by TSMC, Apple's chipset supplier, in its 3nm processors. It is, however, known that the company is working towards such processors and will be beginning their production soon.

If it plans to use the new technology in its processes, Apple is sure to benefit from its iPhones. A speculative timeline suggests in that case, we would be looking at iPhones with 3nm processors with next year's lineup.