Image: TSMC

Apple, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm are going to be some of the first companies to benefit from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s new cutting-edge 3-nm process. The news stems from a report by the South China Morning Post, which confirms that the technology will enter risk production sometime this year for next-generation devices.

“Risk production means TSMC has developed basic production formulas and the process has passed reliability tests,” the South China Morning Post explained. “The 3-nanometre process will enter volume production in 2022, a TSMC spokeswoman said, followed by the roll-out of a 2-nanometre process on an undisclosed schedule.”

“The 3-nm process allows 250 million transistors per square nanometre while 2-nm technology will enable more than 310 million transistors to be packed into the same area, said Tseng Guan-wei, an analyst with Taipei-based market research firm TrendForce. Higher transistor counts can lower power consumption while maintaining speed or boost performance with the same power usage, Tseng said.”

According to market research firm IDC’s Mario Morales, every future smartphone with a Qualcomm chip will involve TSMC’s 3-nm process. Apple will also leverage the technology for its upcoming iPhones and Macs, the latter of which are undergoing a transition to in-house processors (i.e., the M1 SoC).

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