Apple Working on 2nm SoC, Qualcomm Busy With 3nm, 4nm Nodes: Report

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the only widely available smartphones which offer processors designed using the 3nm fabrication process. Going smaller brings several advantages and allows manufacturers to package more components, adding more features while also making these processors more power efficient. The iPhone 15 Pro models, launched late last year, are capable of running AAA gaming titles with high-end graphics, which is currently not possible with the same level of efficiency on an Android smartphone with a 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC inside. Turns out, Apple isn’t resting on its laurels yet, as a new report indicates that it’s already begun work on 2nm processor designs.

A report by gamma0burst shows a rather confidential document with tons of redacted information, revealing that Apple has begun work on designing its next 2nm SoCs. There’s no information about when these will arrive in a device or even which devices these are being designed for, but given that the current-day iPhones have the most power efficient mobile chipsets available, there’s a good chance these could show up in future iPhone models.

As per the latest report, Apple will go with a 3nm processor (possibly called the A18 and A18 Pro) for the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max models, keeping in mind last year’s release strategy. We have already seen leaked benchmarks revealing higher scores than the currently available model. The Apple iPhone 16 series and 16 Pro series aren’t expected until Q3, this year. According to a previous report by Phone Arena, TSMC is expected to start 2nm chip production by 2025, so there is a good chance we could see these new processors arrive with the iPhone 17 Pro and iPhone 17 Pro Max.

Apple 2nm Qualcomm 3nm 4nm gamma0burst ndtv Apple  Samsung

Leaked slides on Apple and Qualcomm
Photo Credit: gamma0burst

 

The leaked documents also shed light on Qualcomm’s current efforts. It reveals that Qualcomm is working on 3nm and 4nm platforms for its extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) SoCs, which should give them an edge keeping in mind Apple’s Vision Pro and its M2 chips (5nm).

However, this does not entirely mean that Qualcomm will fall another generation behind when Apple readies its 2nm silicon. An older report by Wccftech, did mention that Qualcomm is actively looking at samples from Samsung and TSMC to figure out a strategy for its Snapdragon Gen 5 platform. The currently available Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor found in devices like the OnePlus 12 uses a 4nm process, while Qualcomm is expected to push for a 3nm process with the next Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 generation.

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