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Apple exec's appearance in Taiwan fires up 2nm talk

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

TSMC and Apple have formed a tightly-knit partnership and have worked closely to secure deals that give the iPhone maker an edge over the competition. Recently, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams reportedly visited Taiwan to extend the company’s lead against its rivals in the semiconductor race by securing the first batch of TSMC’s 2nm wafers. Assuming both parties come to an agreement, and chances are that they will, it could potentially add billions to TSMC’s revenue this year alone.

It is no secret that Apple has always been ahead when releasing chips using an advanced manufacturing process. The technology giant followed this practice with the A17 Pro, which is exclusively used inside the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max and utilizes TSMC’s first-generation 3nm node, also known as ‘N3B.’ The company followed it up when it unveiled the M4 for its latest 11-inch and 13-inch iPad Pro, which is mass produced on TSMC’s second-generation 3nm process.

Now, according to Econonic News Daily, Apple executive Jeff Williams recently visited Taiwan and met up with TSMC CEO C. C. Wei to discuss a potential partnership to secure the first batch of 2nm wafers. Apple has previously been reported to be TSMC’s primary customer for its 2nm technology, with the first chipset batch expected to debut in the iPhone 17 lineup next year.

However, another story claims that we must wait until late 2026 to witness the first 2nm silicon, as Apple’s A19 Pro, arriving in 2025, is said to use the third-generation 3nm process. Since there is no concrete information related to Apple’s and TSMC’s 2nm wafer deal, we have to treat this report with a pinch of salt. However, assuming the Cupertino firm does secure the first 2nm batch, it can potentially add $18.6 billion to TSMC’s revenue in 2024, followed by $31.03 billion over an undisclosed period.

The Chinese media did not note the price of each 2nm wafer, but it is safe to assume that it will be more expensive than any of TSMC’s 3nm iterations. Our gut feeling is that both companies will likely come to an agreement as they have on previous occasions, and given that this technology will be significantly pricier, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and others will likely wait another year to transition to it.

By: DocMemory
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