New MacBook Pro expected before end of 2022 with 5nm chips

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 22
Apple's upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to be mass produced in the fourth quarter of 2022 with M2 chips possibly made using a 5nm process, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

M2 Chipset
M2 Chipset


In a tweet on Monday, Kuo said that the upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro will enter mass production in Q4 2022. However, he cast doubt on rumors that the devices could sport chips built on TSMC's 3nm processes.

According to Kuo, TSMC has offered guidance that its 3nm process will contribute to its revenue in the first half of 2023. Although Apple is likely to be one of the first companies to get its hands on chips with the new process, Kuo take's TSMC's guidance as evidence that it won't be in 2022.

In other words, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro chips, which will likely be M2 Pro and M2 Max, will be created using TSMC's existing 5nm advanced nodes.

Kuo's forecast here differs from other sources, including a report from the Taiwanese-based Commercial Times that indicated Apple would be using 3nm-based chips by the end of 2022.

According to the Commercial Times, TSMC's mass production of 3nm-based wafers will kick off in September. Given that Kuo expects MacBook Pro models to enter mass production in the fourth quarter, there's still a chance that the new models could use TSMC's latest technology.

Prior reports indicate that Apple will use the M2 Pro chip -- and possibly an M2 Max -- in its 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models later in 2022 or early 2023.

Read on AppleInsider
8thmantmay
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    ppietrappietra Posts: 288member
    Then who would be TSMC’s client in the first half of 2023???? Intel has already been ruled out because it delayed its chips from TSMC.
    It’s not like Apple developed a M2 Max for the MacBooks and created another M2 Max for the desktops.
    8thmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 30
    8thman8thman Posts: 19member
    Finally! Can’t wait for 14” 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,811member
    ppietra said:
    Then who would be TSMC’s client in the first half of 2023???? Intel has already been ruled out because it delayed its chips from TSMC.
    It’s not like Apple developed a M2 Max for the MacBooks and created another M2 Max for the desktops.
    I can't imagine that Apple would pass up volume production at the 3nm node, merely to block competitors from 3nm as long as possible.

    At the same time, I can't imagine that Apple would throw down volume SOC production for the Mac Pro or iMac Pro production on 3nm.

    But if they did, it would be epic!

    So it looks like 3nm is targeted for iPad Pro, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro updates, and later in the year, iPhone 15.

    edited August 22 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    JP234JP234 Posts: 502member
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    edited August 22 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,176member
    8thman said:
    Finally! Can’t wait for 14” 
    “Finally”? The existing 14” has been out for like 9 months. 
    nubuswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 30
    thttht Posts: 4,618member
    JP234 said:
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    Don’t know where to start with your train of questions. 

    Your questions seem to understand that Taiwan is not China, yet you still conflate TSMC as being Chinese. TSMC is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s Taiwanese with most of its fabs in Taiwan. TSMC has satellite fabs in both China and the USA. You should not conflate the two. 

    Semiconductor manufacturing is a global enterprise. One of the key components is actually a Dutch company who makes the photolithography machines that go into the fabs. Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, also multinationals, make the modules that the chips are put in. Then, the materials and sub-components come from all over the world too. 

    These are global multi-national companies. They are diversified and continually diversifying. They don’t do it as fast as the speed of politics perhaps, but they will do what they need to do to stay in business. 

    TSMC’s fabs are the most advanced fabs in the world. There isn’t a competitor. The nearest “competitor” is Samsung, and if Apple used their fabs, they would have slower and hotter chips. Apple has had a decadal and symbiotic relationship with them. It’s basically because of Apple that TSMC, and their own discipline and decision making, has the most advanced fabs. If Apple is to have TSMC diversify, it will be to get them to have more fabs elsewhere in the world, not primarily in Taiwan.

    Lastly, there isn’t any special sauce. It’s plain old boring physics and economics. They take silicon and etch CMOS circuits onto them. Every stage from the silicon itself to the software that runs on them is validated at every stage. You don’t do anything by surprise as it could result in business destroying consequences. Apple, and every TSMC customer, knows precisely what happens to their chips. 
    tmaytenthousandthingsFileMakerFellerJP234danoxfastasleepbageljoeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,468member
    If any apple computer would benefit from the die shrink, it’s the mobile lineup. 

    M2 pro and max at 3nm would bring greater efficiency, lower power consumption, or add headroom for higher clocks. 

    The desktops using Ultra and Extreme versions would certainly benefit, but the mobiles would really be gaining the most needed benefits. 

    Better to delay and launch with 3nm. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 30
    I expect the early 3nM chips will be going to the new Mac Pro.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,830member
    It would have been really weird to market both 5nm and 3nm chips under the same M2 label. The move from 5nm to 3nm warrants a new marketing label (M3). 

    Of course, apple can do whatever they want and they know more about marketing than me. But still — it would be pretty weird.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,830member
    timmillea said:
    I expect the early 3nM chips will be going to the new Mac Pro.
    The tiny sales volume of the Mac Pro could support that idea, but nothing else does. 

    New nodes are usually used for smaller chips used in products where performance/watt is critical. The Mac Pro is the opposite of that.

    It would make more sense to have AR/VR glasses be the first product to get 3nm. 

    The Mac Pro will probably get a SOC with 4 M2 Max dies fused together.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 30
    thttht Posts: 4,618member
    blastdoor said:
    It would have been really weird to market both 5nm and 3nm chips under the same M2 label. The move from 5nm to 3nm warrants a new marketing label (M3). 

    Of course, apple can do whatever they want and they know more about marketing than me. But still — it would be pretty weird.
    It’s perfectly fine. People put too much power into the name of something. The Apple media and some people has this strange fixation on how the name of the processor could confuse people. It’s crazy town thinking. 

    Apple tunes the performance per dollar and features per dollar at every single price tier, so that it encourages upsell and the buyer always gets more features and performance for their dollar. 

    M2 versus M1 Pro or 3nm M2 versus 5nm M2 is irrelevant. Apple will price in every performance improvement and feature. It seems more that Apple media don’t like the work of explaining stuff because of the names rather than just discussing things in terms of performance. 

    Nobody will be confused. Nobody will be “ripped” off. The more money someone spends, the less important the name of this or that feature becomes, and the more performance and features they buy. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    thttht Posts: 4,618member
    I am disappointed that 3nm is running about 6 months late. The A16 in iPhone 14 Pro really should be fabbed on TSMC 3nm. 

    Hopefully, these rumors are really from TSMC “merchant” arm, while Apple’s production is being kept ultra-secret and they have the first 6 to 12 months of capacity. So, no one really knows about it and they really started production of A16 chips in June. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 30
    designrdesignr Posts: 754member
    I'm guessing 3nm is coming in the M3 series of chips...in 2023.

    The remainder of the M2 series chips (Pro, Max, Ultra)—delivered this year in updated MacBook Pros as well as, probably, a new Mac Pro—will be 5nm.

    2023 will be the rollout of the M3 series (base, Pro, Max, Ultra) at 3nm with corresponding updates across the entire product line (MBA, MBP, Mac mini, Pro, Studio, iMac, etc.)

    While it's too cool to imagine—and too soon to speculate—but Apple may very well have their roadmap planned out something like this:

    2021: M1 (5nm)
    2022: M2 (5nm)
    2023: M3 (3nm)
    2024: M4 (3nm)
    2025: M5 (2nm)
    2026: M6 (2nm)
    etc.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    I think these confusing reports are trending toward two things:

    [1] After its introduction soon for the new iPhone Pro and Apple Watch, Apple will also adopt a subscription model as an option for select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices with Apple Silicon.

    [2] To do that, Apple needs to be able to produce new silicon at a regular pace, like they do for the iPhone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be annual, but it does need to be regular. I think, at any given moment, there will always be two generations available, with the subscriptions on the cutting edge. 

    There are various ways this could roll out. It’s folly to try to guess, but feel free. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 30
    designrdesignr Posts: 754member
    I think these confusing reports are trending toward two things:

    [1] After its introduction soon for the new iPhone Pro and Apple Watch, Apple will also adopt a subscription model as an option for select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices with Apple Silicon.

    [2] To do that, Apple needs to be able to produce new silicon at a regular pace, like they do for the iPhone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be annual, but it does need to be regular. I think, at any given moment, there will always be two generations available, with the subscriptions on the cutting edge. 

    There are various ways this could roll out. It’s folly to try to guess, but feel free. 
    Interesting theory. I suspect you're right. Apple wants to try and develop a continuous "IV drip" revenue stream across all products (and services).

    Any reason you think this might be limited to "select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices"? Or do you think just to start?

    I think consumers have become accustomed to buying things on payment (cars and houses for decades now). Phones more recently. Music, videos, games, and software-as-a-service even more recently. Why not your devices too?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 30
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,832moderator
    Apple's upcoming 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to be mass produced in the fourth quarter of 2022 with M2 chips possibly made using a 5nm process, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

    In a tweet on Monday, Kuo said that the upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro will enter mass production in Q4 2022. However, he cast doubt on rumors that the devices could sport chips built on TSMC's 3nm processes.

    According to Kuo, TSMC has offered guidance that its 3nm process will contribute to its revenue in the first half of 2023. Although Apple is likely to be one of the first companies to get its hands on chips with the new process, Kuo take's TSMC's guidance as evidence that it won't be in 2022.
    The Macbook Pro and Mac Pro line wouldn't contribute much to TSMC's revenue. TSMC revenue in 2021 was reported to be $56b:

    https://www.gizchina.com/2022/01/13/tsmcs-revenue-in-2021-reached-56-8-billion-half-of-it-by-7nm-and-5nm-chips/

    The higher-end Macbook Pros likely contribute under 20% of Mac revenue (under 6m units). This means for a single quarter, it's 1.5m units. 1.5m units x $100 chips ($50-200) would be $150m out of around $56b.

    By comparison 250m iPhones is $12.5b.

    TSMC saying 3nm wouldn't contribute to their revenue would still be accurate even if Apple used 3nm in their Pro Macs.
    designr said:
    While it's too cool to imagine—and too soon to speculate—but Apple may very well have their roadmap planned out something like this:

    2021: M1 (5nm)
    2022: M2 (5nm)
    2023: M3 (3nm)
    2024: M4 (3nm)
    2025: M5 (2nm)
    2026: M6 (2nm)
    etc.
    If they use 3nm for the Pro line this year, they wouldn't be able to update it to 2nm until 2025. However, if it gets an 18 month update cycle, it would be able to use 3nm enhanced in the middle somewhere.

    A 5nm update this year would be 5NP, which they managed to get a 40% performance bump out of on iPhones. That kind of update wouldn't be too bad but 3nm would be a much nicer update and would make an especially good launch for the Mac Pro.
    tenthousandthingsfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    designr said:
    I think these confusing reports are trending toward two things:

    [1] After its introduction soon for the new iPhone Pro and Apple Watch, Apple will also adopt a subscription model as an option for select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices with Apple Silicon.

    [2] To do that, Apple needs to be able to produce new silicon at a regular pace, like they do for the iPhone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be annual, but it does need to be regular. I think, at any given moment, there will always be two generations available, with the subscriptions on the cutting edge. 

    There are various ways this could roll out. It’s folly to try to guess, but feel free. 
    Interesting theory. I suspect you're right. Apple wants to try and develop a continuous "IV drip" revenue stream across all products (and services).

    Any reason you think this might be limited to "select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices"? Or do you think just to start?

    I think consumers have become accustomed to buying things on payment (cars and houses for decades now). Phones more recently. Music, videos, games, and software-as-a-service even more recently. Why not your devices too?
    No, sorry, the idea that it would only be for Studio/Pro devices is not based on anything. There are decent clues that hardware subscriptions are going to happen -- unfortunately I don't remember the details or where I read about it, but they've been laying the groundwork for it. I'll try to find that reference.

    I suppose it could extend to an entry-level flagship like the MBA or iMac, but I don't see that. My assumption is the margins are tighter on those lower-end, higher-volume devices, and dealing with the turnover for each generation would be more trouble than it's worth. But what do I know?!

    I think some of the same advantages apply to hardware subscriptions that apply to software subscriptions. The pressure to produce significant leaps between generations (to entice people to upgrade) is gone, and the developer can focus on introducing new features and updates more organically, instead of holding everything for the next upgrade. Apple Silicon will be more agile. It's not inconceivable we're already seeing this, if this rumor is right and M2 Pro+ are all on the enhanced N5P process instead of the delayed N3, then that could be evidence of that agility. Instead of being stuck waiting for the next big thing, Apple just moves on, with the enhancements that can be delivered on time. The subsequent N3 leap won't be as dramatic as it would have been without the intermediary step, but it doesn't matter to subscribers.
    edited August 23 FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    JP234JP234 Posts: 502member
    tht said:
    JP234 said:
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    Don’t know where to start with your train of questions. 

    Your questions seem to understand that Taiwan is not China, yet you still conflate TSMC as being Chinese. TSMC is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s Taiwanese with most of its fabs in Taiwan. TSMC has satellite fabs in both China and the USA. You should not conflate the two. 

    Semiconductor manufacturing is a global enterprise. One of the key components is actually a Dutch company who makes the photolithography machines that go into the fabs. Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, also multinationals, make the modules that the chips are put in. Then, the materials and sub-components come from all over the world too. 

    These are global multi-national companies. They are diversified and continually diversifying. They don’t do it as fast as the speed of politics perhaps, but they will do what they need to do to stay in business. 

    TSMC’s fabs are the most advanced fabs in the world. There isn’t a competitor. The nearest “competitor” is Samsung, and if Apple used their fabs, they would have slower and hotter chips. Apple has had a decadal and symbiotic relationship with them. It’s basically because of Apple that TSMC, and their own discipline and decision making, has the most advanced fabs. If Apple is to have TSMC diversify, it will be to get them to have more fabs elsewhere in the world, not primarily in Taiwan.

    Lastly, there isn’t any special sauce. It’s plain old boring physics and economics. They take silicon and etch CMOS circuits onto them. Every stage from the silicon itself to the software that runs on them is validated at every stage. You don’t do anything by surprise as it could result in business destroying consequences. Apple, and every TSMC customer, knows precisely what happens to their chips. 
    I'm in agreement that Taiwan is not China. Yet. And I agree that TMSC there isn't a competitor at their level. Which would remain the same after a Chinese takeover. I also agree with your last statement that there is independent oversight of TMSC chips. For now. Where we disagree is what happens after China does the same thing they've done in Tibet, Macau and Hong Kong. China invading and taking over Taiwan is not a matter of "if." It's a matter of "when." Take it to the bank.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,329member
    designr said:
    I think these confusing reports are trending toward two things:

    [1] After its introduction soon for the new iPhone Pro and Apple Watch, Apple will also adopt a subscription model as an option for select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices with Apple Silicon.

    [2] To do that, Apple needs to be able to produce new silicon at a regular pace, like they do for the iPhone. It doesn’t necessarily need to be annual, but it does need to be regular. I think, at any given moment, there will always be two generations available, with the subscriptions on the cutting edge. 

    There are various ways this could roll out. It’s folly to try to guess, but feel free. 
    Interesting theory. I suspect you're right. Apple wants to try and develop a continuous "IV drip" revenue stream across all products (and services).

    Any reason you think this might be limited to "select Studio and Pro macOS and iPadOS devices"? Or do you think just to start?

    I think consumers have become accustomed to buying things on payment (cars and houses for decades now). Phones more recently. Music, videos, games, and software-as-a-service even more recently. Why not your devices too?
    No, sorry, the idea that it would only be for Studio/Pro devices is not based on anything. There are decent clues that hardware subscriptions are going to happen -- unfortunately I don't remember the details or where I read about it, but they've been laying the groundwork for it. I'll try to find that reference.

    I suppose it could extend to an entry-level flagship like the MBA or iMac, but I don't see that. My assumption is the margins are tighter on those lower-end, higher-volume devices, and dealing with the turnover for each generation would be more trouble than it's worth. But what do I know?!

    I think some of the same advantages apply to hardware subscriptions that apply to software subscriptions. The pressure to produce significant leaps between generations (to entice people to upgrade) is gone, and the developer can focus on introducing new features and updates more organically, instead of holding everything for the next upgrade. Apple Silicon will be more agile. It's not inconceivable we're already seeing this, if this rumor is right and M2 Pro+ are all on the enhanced N5P process instead of the delayed N3, then that could be evidence of that agility. Instead of being stuck waiting for the next big thing, Apple just moves on, with the enhancements that can be delivered on time. The subsequent N3 leap won't be as dramatic as it would have been without the intermediary step, but it doesn't matter to subscribers.
    You jumped the Shark.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,329member
    JP234 said:
    tht said:
    JP234 said:
    Do we have an alternate source for these chips? Looks like our congressmen have decided to provoke China over Taiwan. Does Apple (or any US manufacturer) really want to rely solely on China to supply critical semis? And trust them not to engineer some "special sauce" into them?
    Don’t know where to start with your train of questions. 

    Your questions seem to understand that Taiwan is not China, yet you still conflate TSMC as being Chinese. TSMC is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It’s Taiwanese with most of its fabs in Taiwan. TSMC has satellite fabs in both China and the USA. You should not conflate the two. 

    Semiconductor manufacturing is a global enterprise. One of the key components is actually a Dutch company who makes the photolithography machines that go into the fabs. Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, also multinationals, make the modules that the chips are put in. Then, the materials and sub-components come from all over the world too. 

    These are global multi-national companies. They are diversified and continually diversifying. They don’t do it as fast as the speed of politics perhaps, but they will do what they need to do to stay in business. 

    TSMC’s fabs are the most advanced fabs in the world. There isn’t a competitor. The nearest “competitor” is Samsung, and if Apple used their fabs, they would have slower and hotter chips. Apple has had a decadal and symbiotic relationship with them. It’s basically because of Apple that TSMC, and their own discipline and decision making, has the most advanced fabs. If Apple is to have TSMC diversify, it will be to get them to have more fabs elsewhere in the world, not primarily in Taiwan.

    Lastly, there isn’t any special sauce. It’s plain old boring physics and economics. They take silicon and etch CMOS circuits onto them. Every stage from the silicon itself to the software that runs on them is validated at every stage. You don’t do anything by surprise as it could result in business destroying consequences. Apple, and every TSMC customer, knows precisely what happens to their chips. 
    I'm in agreement that Taiwan is not China. Yet. And I agree that TMSC there isn't a competitor at their level. Which would remain the same after a Chinese takeover. I also agree with your last statement that there is independent oversight of TMSC chips. For now. Where we disagree is what happens after China does the same thing they've done in Tibet, Macau and Hong Kong. China invading and taking over Taiwan is not a matter of "if." It's a matter of "when." Take it to the bank.
    China and Taiwan will agree to merge sometime in the next 50 years and shot will not be fired, and at that time the USA will standing on the sidelines watching scratching it’s head like a monkey, that merger however won’t postpone the inevitable near term, China will be the number one economic power in the world by 2030.
    JP234
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