MediaTek made a surprise announcement today. The company said it has successfully developed a flagship smartphone processor using TSMC's 3nm semiconductor chip fabrication process. The Taiwanese firm has officially become the world's first company to announce a 3nm smartphone chipset, which is undoubtedly impressive.
MediaTek is the first to announce a 3nm chip using TSMC's 3nm process node
While MediaTek didn't reveal the name or specifications of the chipset, its first 3nm chip will be used in flagship smartphones and tablets. The 3nm Dimensity chip will go into mass production early next year, so we can expect smartphones with that chip to appear sometime in the second half of 2024. MediaTek and TSMC have been partners for a long time, and TSMC fabricates most MediaTek Dimensity chips.
MediaTek said chips made using TSMC's 3nm process node offer up to 18% faster performance at the same power or 32% reduced power consumption at the same speed as 5nm chips. More importantly, TSMC's 3nm process node is claimed to offer up to 60% improved logic density. These improvements, in combination with ARM's new CPU and GPU cores, should provide a sizeable jump from current-generation flagship smartphone processors from MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Samsung.
Joe Chen, President of MediaTek, said, “We are committed to our vision of using the world's most advanced technology to create cutting-edge products that improve our lives in meaningful ways. TSMC's consistent and high-quality manufacturing capabilities enable MediaTek to fully demonstrate its superior design in flagship chipsets, offering the highest performance and quality solutions to our global customers and enhancing the user experience in the flagship market.”
Samsung could use a 3nm chip in Galaxy S25 series in 2025
While MediaTek is the first to announce a 3nm chip, Apple is expected to be the world's first company to actually ship 3nm chips. The iPhone 15 series is expected to launch later this month with the 3nm Apple A17 series processor.
Qualcomm and Samsung are expected to unveil their first 3nm chips by the end of 2024, and we can start seeing devices based on those chips in early 2025. Samsung is rumored to be working on a dream Exynos chip with a 3nm design and a powerful AMD RDNA-based Xclipse GPU. It will be used in the Galaxy S25 series.