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TSMC 2nm processor won't arrive until iPhone 17 Pro

A new report says that almost two years in to its program for developing 2 nanometer processors, TSMC is on schedule for Apple to use the technology in its mid- and late- 2025 devices like the iPhone 17 Pro.

Back in 2022, Apple's processor manufacturer, TSMC, announced that it planned mass production of 2nm designs by 2025. Shortly after the announcement, it was reported that Apple's iPhone 17 Pro would be the first device to get the new processors.

Then in early 2024, it was claimed that Apple had secured TSMC's entire output of 2nm processors. They are to be used across the iPhone 17 Pro and Apple Silicon Macs.

Now according to Digitimes, TSMC is on track to produce its "N2" 2nm processors. Small scale production is planned for late 2024, with mass manufacturing during 2025.

At the same time, TSMC is now moving toward producing 1.4nm processors. The company is referring to its 1.4nm processor internally as the "A14," not to be confused with the processor in 2020's iPhone 12 range.

TSMC is also developing an enhanced 2nm processor, known as "N2P." That is expected toward the end of 2026, so possibly too late for the iPhone 18 Pro.

This means that Apple won't be able to adopt 2nm processors for the 2024 iPhone 16 Pro.

That's despite the expectation that the iPhone 16 Pro and iOS 18 will introduce new AI features. It's generally claimed that AI requires more powerful processors, but in practice it needs features like Apple's Neural Engine that have been specifically designed for it — and included to some extent for years.

Digitimes has a strong record for sources within Apple's supply chain, but a demonstrably poorer one for how successfully it extrapolates Apple's plans from the information it gets.