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TSMC gearing up for iPhone 17 A19 chip production with 2-nanometer test

TSMC continues to be Apple's chip partner.

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Apple's chip partner is about to start trial production of chips using a 2-nanometer fabrication process, ahead of making the A19 chip destined for the iPhone 17.

Since 2022, TSMC has been planning to mass produce chips using a 2-nanometer process by 2025. The schedule would effectively make the A19 chip inside the iPhone 17 Pro the first of its kind to use the process.

Apple's famously long production schedules for its extremely complex supply chain means that companies making components need to work early to get their processes in line. In a Tuesday report, it seems TSMC is doing just that.

According to Liberty Times via ET News, TSMC will commence trial production of 2-nanometer semiconductors in its Baoshan plant starting in the next week. Equipment was installed in the North Taiwan plant in the second quarter of 2023.

The trial production for the third quarter will be earlier than anticipated, with the market expecting TSMC's trial to happen in the fourth quarter. It is now thought that the accelerated schedule is to help TSMC reach a stable yield before actually starting mass production.

Shifting to a 2-nanometer process should also include a switch to gate all around (GAA) technology, as well as back-side power supply (BSPR) technology. It is expected that the new tech should improve performance and power efficiency in chips that use the technique, which in turn will help boost the A19's performance.

Apple is extremely keen to start producing 2-nanometer chips with TSMC. In May, COO Jeff Williams paid a visit to Taiwan to discuss 2-nanometer production, as well as the development of more AI-forward chips to help further the cause of Apple Intelligence.