According to reports from the Financial Times, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple's chipmaker, is actively developing a 2nm chip process. This process has been presented to Apple and other customers, and TSMC expects that mass production could be ready by 2025.
The 2nm chip process is hailed by TSMC as a ground-breaking development in both density and energy efficiency. As technology advances, the transition to a smaller nanometer process becomes essential. The shift to a smaller process allows increased transistor density, enabling more chip cores, expanded cache, and other performance-enhancing features.
To put this into perspective, Apple's switch from the 5nm process on the M1 Mac chip and the A14 Bionic iPhone chip to the 3nm process on the M3 and A17 led to a significant improvement. This made it possible to fit more transistors onto the silicon, resulting in improved performance, more cores and improved power efficiency.
In the long term, if TSMC and Apple reach the target for 2025, it opens up exciting possibilities. The iPhone 17 Pro could potentially feature an A19 Pro chip created with the groundbreaking 2nm process. Following Apple's historical pattern, new chip designs are typically revealed in iPhones first, suggesting that 2nm M-series Mac chips may follow suit in late 2025 or early 2026.
However, the constant technological innovation does not stop there. TSMC is already looking into a 1.4nm process, as revealed by analyst Dylan Patel. While no timetable has been set for mass production of the 1.4nm process, it is likely many years away. Interestingly, TSMC has adopted the name "A14" for the 1.4nm process, which adds a degree of complexity when considering Apple's chip nomenclature. "A" here stands for angstrom, a unit of measurement corresponding to 0.1 nanometer. This shift from the conventional "N" series (N5, N3, N2) aligns with TSMC's focus on precision.
In the rapidly evolving landscape, it is important to note that early designations may change before the official release.