iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Feature Enhanced A17 Chip and 8GB Memory


According to Jeff Pu, a tech expert at Hong Kong investment firm Haitong International Securities, the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will have 8GB Apple memory and an A17 Bionic chip manufactured with TSMC’s N3E process.

Pu mentioned the big RAM increase for regular iPhone models next year and the move to LPD5 memory in a note to investors obtained by MacRumors. Since the iPhone 13 in 2021, Apple’s regular iPhone models have had 6GB of RAM. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are expected to keep the trend going. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are projected to be the first iPhones with 8GB of memory, implying that the A17 Bionic and 8GB of memory from 2023’s Pro models will be carried over to normal models a year later.

Pu also stated that the A17 and A18 Bionic processors utilized in the iPhone 16 series will be manufactured using TMSC’s N3E technology, which is an improved 3nm node. The A17 Bionic processor used in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is projected to be Apple’s first chip built using a 3nm fabrication process, resulting in significant performance and efficiency gains over the A14, A15, and A16 chips’ 5nm method.

According to Pu, the A17 Bionic chip used in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be made using TSMC’s N3B process, but Apple will transition to N3E in the coming year with the latest chip used in the iPhone 16 & iPhone 16 Plus.

N3B is TSMC’s first 3nm node, developed in collaboration with Apple. N3E, on the other hand, is the simpler, more accessible node that will be used by the majority of other TSMC clients. N3E features fewer EUV layers and lower transistor density than N3B, resulting in efficiency compromises, yet the process can perform better. N3B has also been in mass production for a longer period of time than N3E, but it has a far lower yield. N3B was effectively built as a trial node and is incompatible with TSMC’s successor processes such as N3P, N3X, and N3S, implying that Apple’s future chips will need to be redesigned to take advantage of TSMC’s innovations.

Apple was thought to be preparing to use the N3B for the A16 Bionic chip but had to switch to the N4 because it was not ready in time. It’s possible that Apple is employing the N3B CPU and GPU core architecture, which was initially built for the A16 Bionic, for the early A17 processors before transitioning to the original A17 designs with N3E in 2024.

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