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Thursday, December 14, 2023

After 2nm will come TSMC 1.4nm chips, confusingly named A14

There’s no letup within the race towards ever smaller processes. It’s simply a few days since we heard that TSMC has proven Apple check outcomes from a 2nm chip, and the corporate is already discussing the subsequent technology – utilizing a 1.4nm course of.

Considerably confusingly, TSMC is switching from the N prefix it has used up to now to an A prefix – that means that the 1.4nm chips can be labelled as A14 – the identical title Apple gave to the 5nm chip used within the iPhone 12 line-up …

From 3nm to 2nm

The A17 Professional chip used within the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max, in addition to the M3 chip within the newest Macs, use a 3nm course of. We’ll see variants of this course of utilized in subsequent yr’s iPhone 16 Professional units.

TSMC is aiming to progress to a 2nm course of for the chip slated for the iPhone 17 Professional in 2025.

TSMC confirmed that its work on 2nm chips is “progressing nicely and on observe for quantity manufacturing in 2025, and would be the most superior semiconductor expertise within the business in each density and vitality effectivity when it’s launched.”

The Monetary Occasions reported earlier this week that TSMC has already shared check knowledge with Apple.

TSMC, which dominates the worldwide market in processors, has already proven the method check outcomes for its “N2” — or 2 nanometre — prototypes to a few of its greatest clients, together with Apple and Nvidia, in accordance with two individuals with direct data of the discussions.

TSMC 1.4nm chips

In a tweet from a TSMC presentation noticed by MacRumors, semiconductor advisor Dylan Patel says that the 1.4nm course of to comply with can be named A14.

The corporate had beforehand indicated (high picture) that we would anticipate to see this in 2026, however is now holding again from giving a timeframe, stating solely that it’s “in improvement.”

Provided that Apple is TSMC’s most essential buyer, it appears odd that the chipmaker has chosen a naming scheme which confusingly conflicts with the names of iPhone and iPad processors.

One commenter steered that this is perhaps to mess with Intel, whose most superior chip in present improvement is called 18A.

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