TSMC has entered the mass production of 3nm chips with yields in excess of 70%. And as a rule, customers pay for all plates and chips, including defective ones. According to the AppleInsider portal, citing a report by The Information, Apple only pays a Taiwanese contract chip manufacturer for good chips under exclusive cooperation conditions.
According to Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO, Apple and TSMC have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship. According to The Information, this relationship is truly unique and stands out both in the context of TSMC’s collaboration with its other customers and in the context of other chipmakers’ relationships with their customers.
Notably, TSMC isn’t charging Apple the full cost of the 3nm wafers that contain hundreds of future processor chips. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer only charges Apple for good chips. Usually, the price difference is not statistically significant, since TSMC somehow reaches the production level of 99% good chips on a silicon wafer over time. However, the proportion of usable 3 nm crystals is currently around 70-80%. Because Apple doesn’t pay TSMC for faulty chips, it saves a lot. We’re talking billions of dollars.
Apple bought almost all of TSMC’s 3nm manufacturing facilities a few years ago. The information claims that TSMC is able to spearhead the development of new technological processes, partly due to the fact that Apple is willing to pay upfront and in bulk for manufacturing facilities to produce new advanced chips. It is noted that once TSMC reduces the manufacturing defects of crystals and increases the production of suitable chips, it will be able to offer its services for the production of 3nm processors to other companies, but without such favorable conditions.
According to AppleInsider, the use of 3nm processors in future iPhone 15 smartphones is expected to increase their power efficiency by up to 35% compared to current iPhone 14 models.