2027 iPhones Could Arrive with the World’s First 1.6nm Processors

iPhone 15 Pro colors.
In Short
  • TSMC recently announced plans to begin the production of its breakthrough 1.6nm chips by 2026.
  • The new 1.6nm node, named the "A16" process will greatly improve the chip density and performance.
  • The key feature of the A16 chip manufacturing process is the Super Power Rail (SPR) technology.

Apple chip partner TSMC recently announced plans to begin the production of its breakthrough 1.6nm chips by 2026 to maintain its dominance in the industry over the next decade. Interestingly, this highly advanced chip technology could be reserved for future generations of Apple Silicon.

The new 1.6nm node, named the “A16” process was announced at the company’s annual North America Technology Symposium. With every new process, TSMC reduces the node size to allow more transistors on the processor. Compared to the N2P 2-nanometer process node, the newly announced A16 node process will offer notable upgrades and improvements. We can expect to see an increased speed of around 8 percent to 10 percent at the same voltage.


One of the key features of TSMC’s A16 chip manufacturing process is the innovative Super Power Rail (SPR) technology, which will greatly improve the chip density and performance. The power rails are moved to the back of the chip to allow additional signal rails on the front. Also, this implementation simplifies internal wiring and boosts energy efficiency.

Several other companies like Intel and Imec have already explored the backside power networks. That said, TSMC’s SPR technology is said to be more complex and efficient than other implementations.

TSMC is also advancing in the production of 2nm and 1.4nm chips, which are expected to be utilized in upcoming iterations of Apple silicon. In the second half of 2024, the 2nm “N2” node is scheduled for trial production and the mass production will begin in late 2025. This would be followed by the enhanced “N2P” process in late 2026.

TSMC suggested that the latest A16 chip manufacturing technology garnered considerable interest from AI companies. Now, we already know Apple has been showing some great interest in the AI space recently. Also, the giant relies upon TSMC for its chips. Considering this, we might expect to see this innovative production process in future Apple-designed chips.

What Does This Mean for Apple?

Apple products are usually the first devices to adopt innovative, state-of-the-art chip fabrication processes. For instance, Apple was the first one to utilize TSMC’s 3nm node with the A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max. We might see Apple following the same suite with TSMC’s upcoming nodes.

The upcoming A18 chips for the iPhone 16 lineup are expected to be based on N3E. The iPhone can transition to 2nm technology by 2026, with the launch of the iPhone 18 lineup. In 2027, Apple is likely to switch to the enhanced version of this 2nm node, followed by the 1.6nm process. Since TSMC’s 1.6nm technology will make its debut in 2027, we won’t see them in actual products until 2027.

Well, Apple has a signature style where the most advanced chips first make their way to the iPhone, before they are tickled down to iPad and Mac lines. Then they eventually make their way to Apple TV and Apple Watch. The giant is more than likely to follow the same route for future product releases.

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