Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the only widely available smartphones to offer processors designed using the 3nm manufacturing process. Downsizing has several benefits and allows manufacturers to pack in more components, adding more features while making these processors more energy efficient. The iPhone 15 Pro models launched late last year are capable of running AAA gaming titles with high-end graphics, which is currently not possible with the same level of performance on an Android smartphone with a 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC inside. It turns out that Apple isn’t resting on its laurels just yet, as a new report indicates that it has already begun work on a 2nm processor design.

Report from gamma0burst shows a fairly confidential document with tons of redacted information revealing that Apple has begun work on the design of its next 2nm SoCs. There’s no word on when they’ll arrive in a device, or even which devices they’re designed for, but given that current iPhones have the most energy-efficient mobile chipsets, there’s a good chance they’ll appear in future iPhone models.

According to the latest report, Apple will use a 3nm processor (probably called A18 and A18 Pro) for the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max models, keeping in mind last year’s launch strategy. We’ve already seen leaked benchmarks revealing higher scores than the currently available model. Apple’s iPhone 16 and 16 Pro series aren’t expected until the third quarter of this year. According to a previous report from Phone Arena, TSMC is expected to start manufacturing 2nm chips by 2025, so there’s a good chance we’ll see these new processors arrive with the iPhone 17 Pro and iPhone 17 Pro Max.

Leaked slides for Apple and Qualcomm
Photo credit: gamma0burst

The leaked documents also shed light on Qualcomm’s ongoing efforts. It reveals that Qualcomm is working on 3nm and 4nm platforms for its augmented reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) SoCs, which should give them an edge given Apple’s Vision Pro and its M2 chips (5nm).

However, this does not entirely mean that Qualcomm will be another generation behind when Apple prepares its 2nm silicon. Ann older report from Wccftech, mentioned that Qualcomm is actively looking at samples from Samsung and TSMC to come up with a strategy for its Snapdragon Gen 5 platform. The currently available Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor found in devices like the OnePlus 12 uses a 4nm process, while Qualcomm it is expected to push for a 3nm process with the next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.

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