A report back in December suggested that the iPhone 15 battery life may be improved by the move to a 3nm process for the A17 chip. Now it seems like the display driver may also play a role in boosting the time you’ll be able to go between charges.
This, too, is made possible by using a smaller process, as the OLED display driver chip is reportedly moving from 40nm to 28nm … Replacement Battery For Iphone 13 Pro
Last year’s report was based on Apple’s chipmaker TSMC commenting on the benefits of the 3nm process, which it will use to make the A17 chip to power at least the iPhone 15 Pro models.
The move to 3nm is a big step. Although Apple refers to the A16 chip powering the iPhone 14 Pro models as a 4nm chip, TSMC instead describes the N4 process used for the processor as an enhanced version of 5nm – so will effectively be jumping directly from 5nm to 3nm.
Bloomberg reported that the company’s chairman, Mark Liu, was more specific about the power efficiency benefits than the boost in performance. We did, however, note that Liu’s comments were general in nature, and in designing the A17 chip, Apple will choose its own balance of speed against battery life.
Economic Daily News cited supply chain sources reporting that the iPhone 15 will also adopt a more power-efficient OLED display driver chip. This is the chip that sits between the main processor and the display, handling the actual switching on and off of the pixels.
Supply chain sources revealed that the process of Apple iPhone 15 series OLED driver chip will be upgraded from 40nm HV to 28nm HV, which will help further reduce power consumption and improve battery life.
According to the report of Jiwei.com, at present, the core suppliers of Apple OLED drive chips are LX Semicon and Samsung System LSI, among which Samsung System LSI driver chips are mainly OEM by Samsung Electronics and United Power, and LX Semicon drive chips are mainly driven by TSMC, United Power, Grid Core OEM.
While this may have been at Apple’s request, the report says that the iPhone maker’s two main suppliers for these chips are planning to rejig their production lines. They are switching the 40nm process to flash memory chips, which provides an opportunity to redesign the display drivers to use the smaller 28nm process.
Apple’s high demand for the new chips is likely to cause an industry shortage of 28nm production capacity, says the Taiwanese report.
We yesterday provided an exclusive new look at the design of the upcoming iPhone 15, with renders based on 3D CAD files. These confirmed that this year’s base models will get the Dynamic Island currently limited to the two iPhone 14 Pro models, and that the screen will be slightly larger, at 6.2 inches instead of 6.1.
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Original Phone Batteries Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!