Apple is expected to introduce two variants of its next-generation chip: the A18 for the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus, and the A18 Pro for the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max. These chips are planned to be manufactured using TSMC’s advanced second-generation “N3E” 3nm process. The current N3 process, serving as a preliminary version of the 3nm technology, faces high production costs and limited yields. The N3E aims to address these issues, enhancing production efficiency and expanding the availability of 3nm chips beyond Apple’s exclusive use.
It’s crucial to note that the A18 and A18 Pro chips, despite sharing a manufacturing process, will offer distinct performance levels. This differentiation mirrors that seen between Apple’s M2 and M2 Pro chips, where each caters to different performance requirements and target audiences.