Recent news from a reliable tech insider, @Tech_Reve, says that apple might have to delay the release of the first MacBooks and iPads with the new M3 chip. Instead of late 2023, they may not be out until 2024. The reason for the delay is due to issues at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the biggest chip maker in the world.
TSMC's N3 Process Production Struggles
TSMC has been trying to make chips that are only 3 nanometers wide with its N3 process, but it's only been successful about 55 percent of the time. That's lower than what was hoped for, and it's made some tech companies rethink their plans for making 3-nanometer chips. A report by EE Times backs up this point, saying the main reasons for delaying the making of 3-nanometer chips in large numbers are a lack of needed equipment and lower success rates.
The industry has to wait for the ASML NXE:3800E EUV system, a fancy piece of equipment expected to make chip-making up to 30 per cent faster. But the delivery of this equipment has been delayed, which has slowed TSMC's progress.
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The Impact on Other Tech Giants
Apple isn't the only company that's been affected by these problems. Other big tech companies like AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm also have to rethink their plans for 3-nanometer chips. AMD plans to make its Ryzen processors just 4 nanometers wide by 2025. At the same time, Nvidia and Qualcomm hope to start making their 3-nanometer products in 2025.
The delay in releasing Apple's M3 chip shows tech companies' tough challenges in making smaller, more efficient processors. They have to balance the need for more powerful devices with the real-world limits of chip-making. This balancing act has been made even more complicated by a worldwide shortage of semiconductors, which has hit industries from tech to cars.
“The semiconductor industry has always been a game of pushing boundaries,” says tech analyst Rachel Morris. “The jump to 3-nm technology is a big one, and it's not surprising to see companies encountering hurdles. What's important is how they respond to these challenges and continue to drive innovation.”