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It doesn't look like an Android phone will be the first with a 2nm chip

TSMC plans to start mass production by 2025.
By
December 12, 2023
apple iphone 15 bezel and volume buttons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • TSMC, Intel, and Samsung are fighting to be the first to deliver 2nm chips to their clients.
  • TSMC might be ahead of the others, possibly becoming the supplier for Apple’s iPhone 17 Pro in 2025.
  • Samsung is reportedly trying to tempt its clients with a discount.

The race to deliver the world’s most advanced mobile chips is heating up. TSMC is currently in competition with the likes of Samsung and Intel to be the main supplier of 2nm chips in the industry. But TSMC may be the favorite to lead the way, possibly releasing the technology as soon as 2025 and potentially with Apple’s iPhone 17 Pro and Pro Max.

In a report, sources close to the matter spoke with the folks over at the Financial Times about the progress of TSMC’s 2nm process. It appears that TSMC has already shown off results for its “N2” prototypes to major customers like NVIDIA and Apple.

TSMC told the outlet its N2 chips are “progressing well and on track for volume production in 2025, and will be the most advanced semiconductor technology in the industry in both density and energy when it is introduced.”

In an attempt to sway customers to its side, Samsung is reportedly offering cut-price 2nm prototypes. While this deal could save some money, it’s expected that the offer won’t be enough to tempt customers over to Samsung’s side. This may be due to lingering doubts about Samsung’s ability to produce such advanced chips at the moment.

Samsung was the first to bring 3nm chips to the market, but its yield rate of chips deemed suitable for shipping has reportedly remained lower than expected. Meanwhile, TSMC has had an easier time operating at the 3nm scale. According to Dalton Investments analyst James Lim, 2nm chips are a crucial part of Samsung’s strategy, but “people are still doubtful it can execute the migration better than TSMC.”

TSMC plans to start mass producing its N2 chips by 2025, likely launching the mobile version first. If TSMC launches these chips early enough, Apple — which debuted TSMC’s 3nm chips in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max — could potentially use them for the iPhone 17 Pro and Pro Max.