Not only TSMC, Intel could also collaborate with Samsung

Not only TSMC, Intel could also collaborate with Samsung

Not only TSMC

We already know that Intel, in order to maximize the production of its chips, has turned to the "competing" TSMC foundry. Moreover, the company, pursuing its new IDM 2.0 strategy, will also produce semiconductors for third parties, in a very similar way to TSMC. According to recent articles published by DigiTimes and UDN in particular, Intel may soon become a major customer of the foundry and will be one of the first to use the 2N node alongside Apple.

However, TSMC may not be the the only company Intel will rely on in the future. In fact, according to what was reported by the Korea Herald, Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, went to Seoul to speak with some senior executives of Samsung, a real electronics giant that also has its own factories for the production of chips.

Photo Credit: Intel
We remind you that Intel should rely on TSMC for the production of part of its future CPUs "Meteor Lake" and Arrow Lake ", which will make use of" External N3 "(N3 is the name by which TSMC calls the its 3nm process technology). Further information on these processors will be disseminated during a presentation at the Hot Chips 34 event, which will be held next August.

Apple's upcoming A16 chipset might stick to the 5nm TSMC process node

TL;DR: The A16 SoC that will be used on the iPhone 14 will probably not bring massive performance and efficiency gains if it's going to use the same process as the A15 Bionic. Apple will reportedly rely on architecture improvements and a switch to LPDDR5 memory and use the new chip only in their iPhone Pro series.

In a series of tweets today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicated that Apple's upcoming A16 chipset might continue to use TSMC's N5P process node, the same as its predecessor, the A15. The decision was reportedly made because the Taiwanese foundry won't be able to produce enough chips on the new N3 node this year to fulfill demand. Meanwhile, N4P, another improved variant of the N5 process, will only start mass production next year.

This leaves Apple with a choice between N4 and N5P, with the latter being the better-performing (and probably more expensive) node. It's unlikely that the company will switch over to Samsung's GAAFET 3 nm process, as the last A-series chip that wasn't manufactured exclusively by TSMC was the A9, which came out in 2015.

As a reminder, Apple is expected to only equip higher-end iPhone 14 Pro models with the new chip, with the vanilla phones shipping with the A15 instead.

Kuo also reiterated that the upcoming MacBook Air refresh might keep using the M1 chip instead of launching with the new M2. The laptop is rumored to come with an all-new design, something Apple seems to believe is a much better selling point than new internals (and we tend to agree, the M1 is pretty good in terms of efficiency).

The Cupertino company would opt to debut the M2 SoC next year on a MacBook Pro lineup update. This would also allow them to take advantage of the more advanced N4P or N3 node.