A new report says that a future iPad Pro, set to be announced next year, will be one of the first adopters of a new 3nm manufacturing process offered by chipmaker TSMC.

The same report notes that the iPhone 14, set to arrive in the same year, will use a 4nm process instead.

In terms of the iPad Pro, Nikkei says that the 3nm chip design that will be used for the iPad Pro next year will be more costly to produce but offer speed improvements of up to 15% over the current 5nm process. Lower heat production and power requirements are also expected.

Nanometer refers to the width between transistors on a chip. The smaller the number, the more advanced the chip, but also the more challenging and expensive they are to build. The most advanced chip production tech being used for consumer products today is TSMC’s 5-nm technology, which is used for all iPhone 12 processor chips.

However, limits in scheduling and output capacity will mean that the iPad Pro will benefit from 3nm chips while the iPhone 14 won’t.

Instead, the 2022 iPhone will use an interim 4nm process to allow for uprated performance and power use without impacting the 3nm availability required by the iPad Pro.

All of this will happen next year of course, with iPhone 13 set to use a 5nm process just like the iPhone 12.

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