A next-generation iPad Pro may be a year or years away, but its rumored features based on supposed leaks are quite enticing.
The new iPad Pro would reportedly run on an industry-first three-nanometer processor from TSMC, apart from carrying breathtaking OLED displays with a larger size.
Apple Rumored to Be Setting Stage for 3-nm Chips on iPads
According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Apple is testing processor designs using the 3-nm production process from the Taiwan-based chipmaker. It further claimed that TSMC will be able to provide the 3-nm chip to Apple by the second half of 2022, which means the processor would run the iPad release by October of that year, if it would strictly follow its regular timetable.
This advanced chip is expected to be seen in an iPad Pro, supposedly, or possibly an iPad Air, according to Forbes.
TSMC has indicated that 3-nm chip technology improves performance by 10 percent to 15 percent, compared to today's most advanced 5-nm chip which will power the iPhone 13. In addition, power consumption would decrease by 25 percent to 30 percent. This steep drop in power use is certainly a top draw for the processor.
Interestingly, the 3nm chip won't run the iPhone release by 2022, presumably the iPhone 14. The Nikkei Asia report said the 2022 iPhones will use chips produced using 4nm technology, which is faster than this year's iPhone 13 yet could not compare with the planned iPad 3-nm core processor.
This is unlike the predecessor 5nm A15 chip that both the iPad Air 4th Generation and the iPhone 12 used and released almost simultaneously. Further, the iPhone would only carry this 3nm chip by its 2023 line, if the report is correct.
Forbes suspects a manufacturing shortfall in providing 3nm chips to supply the bigger production volumes of the iPhone as the reason behind this move.
iPad Reportedly to Gain OLED Screens, Larger 14- to 16-inch Sizes
Other rumors reveal that the iPad and iPad Pro lines will gain OLED screens by the 2022 or 2023 versions. These rumors swirled in recent months, including those that came from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed that a mid-range iPad Air will carry an OLED display by next year.
A report from The Elec said that Apple will utilize different OLED structures for the 2022 models compared to the succeeding year's releases. The iPad Air will offer a rigid OLED with thin-film encapsulation technology that stacks organic and inorganic elements in various layers to protect the panel. Meanwhile, new iPad Pro models will get a flexible OLED that would accommodate internally curved display components and thinner screen bezel.
There are also rumors circulating that the upcoming iPad models will come in larger sizes, bigger than the current largest model, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in a report on GSM Arena, Apple engineers and designers are looking at producing 14-inch and 16-inch iPads, but not in the immediate future. But seeing them in the 2022 or 2023 iPad lineups won't be far-fetched.