June 23, 2024
Apple COO Jeff Williams Visits TSMC to Secure 2nm Chip Capacity [Report]

Apple COO Jeff Williams Visits TSMC to Secure 2nm Chip Capacity [Report]

Posted May 20, 2024 at 4:11pm by iClarified
Apple COO Jeff Williams recently made a low-profile visit to TSMC where he met with President C.C. Wei, according to a new report from UDN.

The two executives allegedly discussed Apple's development of self-designed AI chips. Apple likely wants to secure TSMC's advanced process capacity for producing these chips, which could give TSMC a significant boost in orders.

Apple previously secured the first batch of TSMC's 3nm capacity and is expected to reserve the initial 2nm capacity and even more advanced processes in the future. It is estimated that Apple's contributions could push TSMC's annual revenue to new heights, potentially reaching NT$600 billion this year, setting a new record, and long-term aiming for NT$1 trillion, marking a new milestone.

Apple's latest A-series and M-series chips are built on TSMC's 3nm process. The move to 2nm, starting in 2025, is expected to offer a 10-15% performance increase at the same power level or a 25-30% reduction in power consumption at the same performance level. This makes the N2 node more power-efficient while boosting performance.

While Apple will certainly bring 2nm chips to iPhone and Mac, the company is also developing AI chips that it will use in its data centers. Apple wants to get better performance than the Nvidia-based chips currently in use.

Apple has already begun its foray into AI servers, using semi-customized Arm architecture to create self-developed AI computational processors. In addition to using TSMC's advanced processes for mass production, the performance of AI server computations will be influenced by the computational power. TSMC will employ its costliest SoIC advanced packaging process and integrate the processors using 3D stacking. However, due to high costs, Apple does not plan to expand to end devices in the short term.

Finally, the report claims that Apple will develop three different levels of M4 processors, codenamed Donan, Brava, and Hidra. Mass production at TSMC is expected to begin in the second half of this year, with packaging and testing handled by ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. The first of these M4 chips has already been released and can be found in the M4 iPad Pro.

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Apple COO Jeff Williams Visits TSMC to Secure 2nm Chip Capacity [Report]
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