Apple, Intel will be first to adopt TSMC's 3-nanometer chip tech, report says

Chips using the next-gen production technology could debut as early as next year, reports Nikkei Asia.

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The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is a key supplier to Apple. 

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Apple and Intel are reportedly first in line to use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s next-generation 3-nanometer production technology. Both companies are testing chip designs using TSMC's 3nm fabrication process and could begin producing chips in the second half of next year, according to a report Friday from Nikkei Asia, which cites unnamed sources. 

TSMC says its 3nm technology can increase computing performance by up to 15% compared with 5nm, while reducing power consumption by up to 30%. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, and the smaller the measurement, the more transistors you can cram onto a chip. This means the resulting chips can be more powerful and energy efficient.

Apple's iPad may be the first device from the company to be powered by processors using 3nm technology, Nikkei reported, while Intel is working on designs for notebooks and data center servers. TSMC reportedly plans to manufacture more 3nm chips for Intel than Apple. 

Apple's current M1 chip, used in its new iPad Pro, new 24-inch iMac and other devices, taps 5nm technology, as does the A14 Bionic chip, used in the iPhone 12 lineup.

Intel declined to comment on the report. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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