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Apple to use 3nm chip technology on the 2022 iPad Pro

If the rumours are to be believed, Apple will be launching its first 3nm chip technology on its new iPad Pro in 2022. According to some reports, the chip can increase performance by upto 15% on the Apple device, while reducing power consumption by 25%. Apple mostly updates the iPad Pro every 12-18 months and we think that the timing corresponds to the launch of its new 3nm chip.  

iPhone 14 will apparently use the 4nm SoC due to yield rates/ scheduling lead times. The iPhone 12 and 13, which is to be launched in September, will feature the 5nm chip which is a notch down to the 4nm chip that the iPhone 14 is touted to feature. 

To result in a more efficient and higher performance, the fabrication process size needs to be decreased, which in turn reduces the gaps between transistors. And in previous years, Apple has used the same chip architecture to deliver a 20% increase in performance gains, with almost no major changes on the chip itself. This process is referred as “Die Shrink.” Based on this concept, Apple might use the 3nm fabrication for all its chips on most of its devices like the iPad, iPhone and the Mac. 

Nikkei Asia reports that Apple and Intel are testing their chip designs with TSMC’s 3-nanometer production technology, with commercial production of these chips expected to begin in the second half of next year. The Apple iPad Pro 2022 is likely to be the first device to feature processors made with 3-nm technology, sources said. It is expected that next year’s iPhones will use the fourth-generation 4nm technology due to scheduling reasons.

For the iPhone 13 which is expected to launch this September, Apple will use a 5nm+ A15 chip. This process is reportedly able to deliver performance improvements and additional power efficiency.

While both Intel and Apple are said to be relying heavily on TSMC, Intel has moved forward the release of its 10nm xeon processors to the second quarter of next year and postponed the introduction of its own 7nm technology to 2023.

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