iPhone 16 Pro Max dummy alongside iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: @ZONEofTECH)

Apple only just started using chips manufactured with the 3nm process in the iPhone 15 Pro and M3 MacBooks. But the next major chip upgrade is underway, and is due to arrive in the iPhone 17. They’ll be manufactured using a 2nm process, and we know that this is going as planned thanks to a new report from the people making the chips.

According to Business Korea, TSMC is currently promoting its upcoming 2nm process, claiming it will attract more customers than the 3nm process. TSMC’s Vice President Zhang Xiaogang announced that the 2nm process is on track for mass production by 2025 “as planned,” quashing rumours of delays due to technical challenges with the new Gate-All-Around (GAA) technology.

This isn’t the first confirmation we’ve got that the new chip process is on track. Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that the new 2nm chipsets were on track for production this year. They’ll start being produced on a smaller scale towards the end of 2024, and will then enter mass manufacturing in early 2025.

2nm for iPhone 17 confirmed?

With this update directly from TSMC, a 2025 roll-out of 2nm chipsets is confirmed. But this doesn’t directly mean that Apple will use them for the iPhone 17 series, although it’s a strong positive indication.

This production timeline lines up perfectly with Apple’s usual iPhone timeline, with a launch in September. We’re expecting the A19 chipset to use the 2nm process in 2025, which would be in time for the iPhone 17 series. It’s likely these more powerful chips would be reserved for the Pro iPhone models, just as they are now. These new 2nm processors would also be ready in time for Apple’s typical MacBook Pro announcement in autumn – so high-end M4 MacBook chips could sport the new 2nm processor.

Apple’s 2nm processors look set to offer broad performance upgrades of 10% to 15% at the same levels of power consumption as the current 3nm process, and 25% to 30% lower power consumption at the same speeds. Despite this, the 2nm chips offer fairly limited chip density increases of only 1.1x over the current line-up. We won’t know exactly how they’ll fare in the real world until we get our hands on them.

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Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.

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