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Apple snaffles all TSMC's first-generation 3-nanometer chips

by on30 August 2023

But this is not good news -- either for Apple or TSMC

The Tame Apple Press is running with a yarn that Apple will receive all TSMC's first-generation 3-nanometer process chips for its upcoming devices.

While TAPs wants this to be seen as Apple scoring all of the latest chips in the world, and how its rivals should surrender now it does not mean that.  In fact, even Apple only wants a little extra capacity because no one else wanted to place any orders for the technology this year. To make matters worse, Apple is not buying that many 3mn chips this year -- 100 per cent of a small figure is still a small figure.

Digitimes said that the only reason Apple snapped up the extra capacity was because of delays in Intel's wafer needs owing to later modifications to the company's CPU platform design plans. Intel's lack of orders means TSMC's sales of 3nm chips will be significantly lower this year.

While TSMC is still expected to experience significant growth in the fourth quarter as it starts mass producing 3nm chips for Apple's needs, they too have been downgraded.

Things will pick up for TSMC next year when it is expected to be flogging its process to Apple, AMD, Intel and Nivida. 

TSMC's 3nm process output may be reduced to 50,000-60,000 wafers monthly in the fourth quarter, down from the 80,000-100,000 units previously anticipated and this is mostly due to a cutback in Apple's orders.

The current monthly output of TSMC's 3nm process is estimated at approximately 65,000 wafers. Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models are expected to feature the A17 Bionic processor, Apple's first iPhone chip based on TSMC's first-generation 3nm process, also known as N3B. 

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