New Macs with Apple M2 Pro chip could get huge speed and power upgrades

Apple Wwdc22 M2 Soc
Apple Wwdc22 M2 Soc (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple reportedly has multiple new M2 'Pro' Macs in the works.
  • A new report says the M2 Pro version of Apple's latest silicon will use TSMC's 3nm process.
  • The 3nm process is up to 15% faster and offers 30% power reduction at the same speeds compared to the 5nm process.

A new report claims that Apple's M2 Pro Apple silicon processor, and future M3 chips will use TSMC's newer 3nm (N3) process, offering big power and performance upgrades.

In a paywalled Digitimes report seen by MacRumors, the outlet stated this week that Apple will use TSMC's N3 process in both its upcoming M2 Pro processors and future M3 Apple silicon.

Apple recently rolled out its new M2 Apple silicon chip at WWDC 2022. It stars in the new M2 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022), offering some decent performance boosts on the old M1 chip but still built using TSMC's 5nm (N5) technology that debuted in 2020.

If Apple is planning to upgrade future Apple silicon with this new process, it could make for even more performance or power efficiency upgrades on current Apple silicon, even the M2. From TSMC:

TSMC's 3nm technology (N3) will be another full node stride from our 5nm technology (N5), and offer the most advanced foundry technology in both PPA and transistor technology when it is introduced. N3 technology will offer up to 70% logic density gain, up to 15% speed improvement at the same power and up to 30% power reduction at the same speed as compared with N5 technology.

TSMC says its targeting volume production for the second half of 2022 and states that N3 is up to 15% faster than N5 at the same power draw level, or up to 30% less power-hungry at the same speed. The benefit for Apple's future best MacBooks would be two-fold. They would be faster using the same amount of power as the current MacBook Pro (2021) and its M1 Pro chips, or would use 30% less power while running at the same speed, offering both performance and battery life improvements.

This week Bloomberg stated that Apple plans to release four new Macs featuring the M2 family of chips. Namely an M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini, a new M2 Pro and Max MacBook Pro, and a new M2 Ultra and M2 Extreme Mac Pro, the latter of which Apple promised it would upgrade last year.

While Apple's new MacBook Pro offers some decent upgrades over the current model, the new MacBook Air is drawing more attention because it boasts a slew of more significant upgrades including a new chassis, better webcam, and more.

Digitimes tends to be more accurate when it comes to supply chain matters such as this, and the news would definitely line up with the huge increasing arc in performance Apple is showing us with its ever-growing lineup of Apple silicon in the Mac. As noted the report also matches TSMC's production target of the second half of 2022.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9