Apple's Upcoming M2 Pro Chip for High-End MacBook Pro and Mac Mini Will Reportedly Be 3nm

TSMC will manufacture Apple's upcoming "M2 Pro" and "M3" chips based on its 3nm process, according to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes.

M2 Pro and Max Feature
"Apple reportedly has booked TSMC capacity for its upcoming 3nm M3 and M2 Pro processors," said DigiTimes, in a report focused on competition between chipmakers like TSMC and Samsung to secure 3nm chip orders. As expected, the report said TSMC will begin volume production of 3nm chips in the second half of 2022.

In his latest newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said he expects the M2 Pro to be used in the 14-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, and a high-end Mac mini. As for the M3, Gurman expects the chip to be used in an updated 13-inch MacBook Air, an all-new 15-inch MacBook Air, a new iMac, and potentially a new 12-inch MacBook.

In all likelihood, the M2 Max would also be manufactured based on a 3nm process in this scenario. That chip would be suitable for the highest-end MacBook Pro configurations, and the Mac Studio if Apple chooses to update that computer within the next year or so.

While it was widely expected that the M3 would be 3nm, it is more notable that the M2 Pro might be as well, given that the standard M2 chip that debuted in the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro remains built based on TSMC's 5nm process. Both the M1 and M1 Pro chips share the same process, so the M2 and M2 Pro being built on different processes would represent a change of course for Apple silicon in the Mac.

Vadim Yuryev, co-host of the YouTube channel Max Tech, has adamantly expressed his opinion that the M2 Pro will indeed be 3nm in a series of tweets over the last few weeks. In the past, Yuryev accurately revealed that the M1 Ultra chip in the Mac Studio would effectively be two M1 Max chips connected as a singular chip.

If the 3nm report is accurate, the performance delta between the M2 Pro and M2 could be even greater than between the M1 Pro and M1. However, it's worth tempering expectations until any additional reports corroborate the M2 Pro chip being 3nm.

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Top Rated Comments

Lounge vibes 05 Avatar
27 months ago
Yeah I don’t know about that, but it would be cool.
But if it is 3nm I Seriously wouldn’t expect it to release as soon as October.
More like March/June 2023
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uczcret Avatar
27 months ago

So can I drive three 4k screens with this or no?
You can drive 3 6k displays and a 4k display with the M1 Max already. I can't imagine why that would change with the M2 Max.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
soyazul Avatar
27 months ago
It doesn't have any sense to have different production processes within the M2 silicon family. It is obvious that all of this is just gathering pieces of information from different sources and trying to get to a collage-style conclusion that is totally unrelated to real Apple plans.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tis100 Avatar
27 months ago
I'm not sure I believe this rumor. Apple has been quite consistent with their release cadence baring any delays from TSMC. "A" processors on 12 month cycles and "M" processors on 18 month cycles. I don't see them speed running the process nodes because they will hit the wall more quickly in terms of TSMC's capabilities. 2nm is already having delays with mass production late 2025 / 2026. And who knows what issues will crop up with even smaller nodes. It's better to sell a consistent 20% per year performance improvement rather than 40% one year and then 0% the next.

Here are my predictions for Apple Silicon:

A14 - Late 2020 - TSMC N5 (Process)
A15 - Late 2021 - TSMC N5P (Optimize)
A16 - Late 2022 - TSMC N4 (Optimize+) (Rumored intermediate node because of delays with N3)
A17 - Late 2023 - TSMC N3 (Process)
A18 - Late 2024 - TSMC N3P (Optimize)
A19 - Late 2025 - TSMC N3? (Optimize+) (There will probably be an intermediate node here from delays with N2)
A20 - Late 2026 - TSMC N2 (Process)

M1 - Late 2020 - TSMC N5 (Process)
M2 - Mid 2022 - TSMC N5P (Optimize)
M3 - Late 2023 - TSMC N3 (Process) (Rumored 15" Macbook Air)
M4 - Mid 2025 - TSMC N3P (Optimize)
M5 - Late 2026 - TSMC N2 (Process)

M1 Pro/Max - Late 2021 - TSMC N5 (Process)
M2 Pro/Max - Mid 2023 - TSMC N5P (Optimize)
M3 Pro/Max - Late 2024 - TSMC N3 (Process) (I expect some form of design refresh here since the MacBook Pro Retina and Touch Bar were around 3 years before their refresh. The rumored OLED screen is possible.)
M4 Pro/Max - Mid 2026 - TSMC N3P (Optimize)
M5 Pro/Max - Late 2027 - TSMC N2 (Process) (Again, probably some form of design refresh)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProfessionalFan Avatar
27 months ago

Remember folks, the most important technical distinction between M2 Pro and M3 Pro:

M2: in Apple ads, the fake render of the chip will have "M2 Pro" in large, friendly letters.
M3: in Apple ads, the fake render of the chip will have "M3 Pro" in large, friendly letters.
Remember folks, the most important thing is that there will always be people posting stuff as fact when they have no actual knowledge of the situation.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Useless Touchbar Avatar
27 months ago

So can I drive thee 4k screens with this or no?
You'll need M2 Extreme for that
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)