Apple May Use TSMC 3nm Chips by End of 2022, Says Report

A report from Taiwan’s Commercial Times claims TSMC will start production of 3nm chips based on its N3 process node for Apple by the end of this year (via MacRumors).

Another report from the publication indicated that TSMC plans to begin mass production of 3nm chips in September.

Apple will be the first customer for TSMC’s 3nm process node. Citing industry insiders, Commercial Times also speculated that Apple’s first 3nm chip could be the M2 Pro for Macs.

Apple insider Mark Gurman expects the company to launch new MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips sometime between fall 2022 and spring 2023. Gurman also believes Apple will hold a Mac and iPad-centric event in October, so there’s a chance we could see a Mac with a 3nm chip before year’s end.

Apple’s A17 Bionic microprocessor for next year’s iPhone 15 Pro lineup will also be based on TSMC’s 3nm process, as will the M3 chip for Mac.

Other companies lined up behind Apple for TSMC’s 3nm chips include Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Super Micro.

The jump from 5nm to 3nm will deliver faster performance and higher power efficiency. Apple Silicon-powered Macs are already known to slowly sip battery, but 3nm chips should take things even further in terms of battery life.

A more refined version of TSMC’s 3nm process with even better performance and yield, N3E, is scheduled to go into mass production in the second half of 2023. Apple and Intel will be TSMC’s first two major customers for the N3E process.