TSMC begins production of 3nm chips. Apple is the first customer

Although the announcement comes 6 months later than rival Samsung, expectations are that TSMC will deliver 3nm chips with better performance and efficiency characteristics.

After long being in TSMC’s shadow, Samsung was quick to announce six months ago the start of 3nm semiconductor production, shipping the first batches of chips starting in August 2022. But it remains to be seen at what trade-offs this PR victory over rival TSMC was achieved. What is certain is that despite the early launch announcement, Apple was in no rush to sign with Samsung for the allocation of 3nm production capacity.

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If we take the iPhone maker’s expressed affinity as any indication, the 3nm chips manufactured by TSMC will be the ones that achieve the best performance and efficiency metrics. Certainly the most expensive too.

As a first step, Apple will use TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing capability to make its newest M2 Pro SoC, reserved for the 2023-generation MacBook Pro and Mac Mini systems.

According to information obtained by DigiTimes, TSMC will begin mass production of the 3nm chips starting December 29, with delivery a few months later.

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