The loyal Apple fan community was actually hoping for an updated MacBook Pro this fall and winter, which would be equipped with an M2 chip for the first time. After all, Apple equipped the MacBook Air for the first time with the M2 processor in the summer of this year.
If you look at the usual update intervals, an update for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an M2 Max and M2 Pro chip should have been available by the end of November this year at the latest. However, according to several rumors and leaks, Apple is delaying the release of the new laptop models until early 2023. Possible reasons for this delay have now become known.
The Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC, one of Apple’s largest suppliers, will start production of its next-generation 3nm chips this week. So reported BGR. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) models M2 Pro and M2 Max, which Apple will build into the new MacBook Pro devices in the coming year, could be manufactured with this next-gen process.
According to Digitimes TSMC will start mass production of 3nm chips on December 29 this year.
“TSMC will hold a ceremony on December 29th at Fab 18 in Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) to celebrate the start of commercial production of chips using 3nm process technology. According to semiconductor equipment maker sources, the Pure Play Foundry will also outline plans to expand 3nm chip production at the factory.”
This is not necessarily proof of Apple’s switch to the 3nm process in the M2 Pro and M2 Max. As a reminder: The chips in the current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are produced using the 5nm process. Nevertheless, BGR suspects the reasons for the delay here.
“Given TSMC’s manufacturing lead times and the fact that Apple is the chipmaker’s top customer, it makes perfect sense that Apple has been waiting for the 3nm production line to be completed. This would explain the delay in launching the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro.”
With the move to 3nm chips, Apple could further improve the power efficiency of the M2 Pro and M2 Max processors. BGR even assumes that Apple will be among the first customers of TSMC “to use the 3nm chip production line sensibly”. The A17 Bionic chip of the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro generation should also be manufactured in the 3nm process. The current A16 Bionic is a 4nm chip that is also produced by TSMC.
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