Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro and iPad Pro models will enter mass production in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Given the timeline of these devices entering mass production, it is likely that they will still feature chips based on the 5nm process.
New Macbook Pro and iPad Pro models with 3nm chips could arrive by 2023
It was previously reported that the new MacBook Pro and iPad Pro models would feature chips based on the 3nm fabrication technology however TSMC had to push back production of the chips.
In a new tweet, the analyst took to Twitter to share the timeline for the production of the upcoming new MacBook Pro and iPad Pro models.
EMS must buy components from Oct at the latest for products that will enter mass production in 4Q22, but 3nm chips won’t be available until Jan 2023. So I think new MacBook Pro & iPad Pro, which will enter mass production in 4Q22, will adopt new but unlikely 3nm processors.
TSMC’s 3nm chip production cycle is about 4 months, so though TSMC said it would start mass production of 3nm from Sep, it would take until Jan 2023 to ship at the earliest. It’s why TSMC offered the guidance that 3nm will contribute revenue from 1H23.
Apple’s new M2 chip is based on the 5nm process. If the updated 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were to feature chips based on the 3nm process, there would be a significant improvement in performance which would be impressive considering the glowing reviews the M1 chips and the M2 chip have gotten thus far.
TSMC had planned to significantly expand the production of its 3nm chips. It even started building three new production facilities to produce 3nm chips in Tainan, Taiwan, to further expand its manufacturing capacity. The move is a part of the company’s $120 billion investment to establish new production facilities which it hopes will help it capture a bigger part of the global chip market. However, it was forced to slow down the expansion of its 3nm chip process due to an issue with Intel.
Earlier in August, it was reported that TSMC was adjusting equipment orders for 2023 and adjusting the scale of its CapEx planning for 2023, which is now expected to be lower than in 2022. With Intel having delayed its order for 3nm chips, Apple is now one of the biggest customers for TSMC’s 3nm chips, among others.