iPhone 17 Pro: Powering Up with TSMC’s 2nm Chip in 2025

In September this year, Apple launched the iPhone 15 Pro equipped with the A17 Pro processor, fabricated using TSMC’s 3nm process. This processor boasts enhanced performance and energy efficiency compared to its predecessors. Apple, however, is not resting on its laurels; they have already commenced the development of the next-generation processor. According to the latest reports, TSMC has presented Apple with its 2nm chip, which is expected to go into mass production in 2025.

Media outlets suggest that Apple is likely to introduce the iPhone 17 Pro in 2025, featuring a processor produced using TSMC’s 2nm process. Apple is TSMC’s largest customer, with the majority of processors for iPhones and Macs currently manufactured by TSMC. Apple has secured TSMC’s entire 3nm production capacity for 2023, ensuring its technological edge over competitors. TSMC is anticipated to commence mass production of the 2nm process in 2025, with the iPhone 17 poised to be the first device to incorporate this new processor technology.

At present, TSMC’s N3 node transistor density stands at 183 million transistors per square millimeter (MTr/mm2). TSMC has four 3nm-level nodes, including the recently mass-produced N3E node, which has a transistor density of 215.6 MTr/mm2. The N3P node, expected to be operational after 2024, will further increase the density to 224 MTr/mm2. TSMC’s first 2nm node, N2, will boast a transistor density of 259 MTr/mm2. Thus, it is highly likely that Apple will opt for the N3P process as a transitional technology in 2024.

However, these projections are based on ideal circumstances. If TSMC can commence production on schedule without unexpected delays, the timeline will proceed as mentioned. Nonetheless, new technological processes might face various delays, and it remains to be seen whether TSMC can overcome the challenges associated with these advanced manufacturing techniques.