3nm Chips From Apple Supplier TSMC to Enter Mass Production This Week
Apple's main chip supplier TSMC will kick off mass production of 3nm chips this week, with Apple being the primary customer of the new process, which could first be used in upcoming M2 Pro chips expected to power updated MacBook Pro and Mac mini models.
According to the new report by DigiTimes, TSMC will start mass production of its next-generation 3nm chip process on Thursday, December 29, in line with reports from earlier in the year that said 3nm mass production would begin later in 2022. From the report:
TSMC is scheduled to hold a ceremony at Fab 18 at the Southern Taiwan Science Park (STSP) on December 29 to mark the start of commercial production of chips using 3nm process technology. The pure-play foundry will also detail plans to expand 3nm chip production at the fab, according to sources at semiconductor equipment companies.
Apple currently uses TSMC's 4nm process in the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro series but could jump to 3nm as soon as early next year. A report in August claimed the upcoming M2 Pro chips would be the first to be based on the 3nm process. The M2 Pro chip is expected to debut first in updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros early next year and possibly updated Mac Studio and Mac mini models.
Later in 2023, according to another report, the third generation of Apple silicon, the M3 chip, and the A17 Bionic for the iPhone 15, will be based on TSMC's enhanced 3nm process, which has yet to be made available. According to the DigiTimes report today, citing industry sources, production of 3nm process chips is "unlikely to ramp up" until production of the enhanced version gets underway.