Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, TSMC, the world’s largest and leading chip foundry on November 18 commenced its 2022 TSMC Technology Symposium, where the company released its chip development timeline and plans. The company has started the production process for chips that develop the 3 nm technology. The South Korean tech company has also begun manufacturing this upcoming technology.
The A17 Bionic Chipset, which is rumoured to arrive with iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, will also be based on a 3nm fabrication process. The power efficiency and performance will be higher than the previous generations, but ultimately cost will rise. So, as per the rumours, TSMCs substrate or thin slice of semiconductor (generally in electronics, known as” wafers”) will double from 7nm production to 3 nm.
The upcoming A17 Bionic Chipset for the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra will be manufactured by Apple and produced by TSMC using a state-of-the-art process node. Node is essentially the physical size of a transistor available in wafers. The smaller the transistors, the more transistors in the same area, the faster they switch, the less energy they require, and the cooler the chip runs.
In case of this, there will be lower process nodes, and smaller transistors will be users, which will make more transistors in the specific area, and thus the chip is more powerful and energy efficient. This is a very stringent process and requires detailed analysis, more significant expenditure, and employee efforts, which increases the cost of the fabrication process every year.
For reference, the iPhone 11 series had A13 Bionic Chipset based on a 7nm process (8.5 billion transistors in each chip). The iPhone 12 series had A14 Bionic Chipset based on a 5nm process (11.8 billion transistors in each chip). The iPhone 13 series had A15 Bionic Chipset based on the same 5nm process as iPhone 12 with 15 billion transistors. And the iPhone 14 Pro series with A16 Bionic Chipset is based on a 4nm process. You can judge yourself that the fabrication process is getting more complicated with every passing year.
However, with all these problems, the chip manufacturers and producers can’t pause their progress and will continue to manufacture more powerful and efficient chips. Both TSMC and Samsung plan to produce chips based on the 2nm fabrication process somewhere around 2025 and will reach up to 1nm fabrication process by the year 2030.
iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra price will be comparatively higher than the previous generations
According to the DigiTimes report, TSMC is planning a more than $20,000 price increment for the chipsets based on 3nm architecture. The price difference between 7nm and 5nm produced by TSMC was $10,000 and $16,000, respectively, which was about a 60% increment in price.
The price increment can neither be avoided nor prevented from happening. As per the price increment in the wafers, the cost of the smartphones based on the 3nm architecture will also increase. Unfortunately, we can say that the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro series (with A17 Bionic Chipset) can be priced high along with the other Android OEMs using the chip based on a 3nm fabrication process.
What do you think about the price difference between the generations? What price do you expect with the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro series? Do tell us in the comments section below.