iPhone 15: the A17 chip engraved in 3 nm, focus on autonomy
Apple will switch to 3 nm engraving for the A17 chips of the iPhone 15, which are much more energy efficient, and which should make it possible to offer mobiles better autonomy.
The next generation of Apple A17 chips will be manufactured in 3 nm using an engraving process from the foundry TSMC, we learn Bloomberg. Unsurprisingly, the SoC will offer better performance than its predecessors, but the move to 3 nm should above all bring significant improvements in terms of energy efficiency. And in other words, the Apple A17 will be able to provide as much power as the A16 while consuming much less, or more power for a much lower energy requirement.
According to the words of Mark Liu, the leader of TSMC, 3 nm engraving is about 35% more energy efficient. The iPhone already offering very high performance, it is likely that Apple will take advantage of this to give its devices better autonomy, a selling point much more convincing than winning a few points and percentages on the benchmarks.
iPhone 15 and Mac M2 Pro in 3nm
In any case, we can expect a greater difference between the A16 and the A17 than we had between the A15 and the A16. Apple communicates a 4 nm engraving for its A16, but TSMC believes that it is in fact an improved 5 nm technology rather than the true 4 nm. The Apple A17, on the other hand, will be based on real 3 nm.
It remains to be seen, however, whether the entire iPhone 15 series will benefit from this new generation chip. We have no information on this subject, but our little finger tells us that this will not be the case. Only the iPhone 14 Pro were entitled to the SoC A16, the iPhone 14 remaining at the A15. Additionally, reports suggest that Apple wants to reinforce the differences between the standard and Pro models, and could lower the price of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus to make them more attractive. If this is the case, the Apple A17 should therefore be reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro.
Apple will not reserve 3 nm chips for its iPhones in 2023 since Macs with M2 Pro chips should also use this process. The generation of M3 chips will also be based on 3 nm engraving.