Tuesday, Aug 23, 2022, 19:22 Mac: Hardware

Kuo: MacBook Pro M2 Arriving Soon – But With 5-nm Production Process

According to multiple reports, Apple is updating the 14/16" models of the MacBook Pro with new hardware only one year after the devices' release. Word on the street is that the devices will be optically identical but with impactful changes to the internal hardware. The M2 chip, which is already present in current models of the MacBook Pro 13" and the MacBook Air, should also make its way over to the more expensive models in the form of the M2 Pro and M2 Max. Since the chip is slightly warmer than the M1 under full load, the cooling system will have a little bit larger of an assignment. However, a recent report revealed a very optimistic forecast that the Pro and Max variants of the M2 would witness production in the 3-nm process.

TSMC's Prognosis Doesn't Include 3-nm Until 2023
Now, well-known market expert, Ming-Chi Kuo, has offered up his 2 cents concerning the matter – including a reference for his information stemming from a pretty solid source. He asserts that there will be new notebooks in the fourth quarter of this year, but the chips will still be 5 nm. A clear indication of this comes from Apple's production partner's (TSMC) quarterly report, which includes a prognosis for the upcoming months. Accordingly, chips produced with the 3-nm production process wouldn't contribute to TSMC's sales figures until 2023 – certainly not in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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M2 Pro & Max To Continue As 5-nm Chips?
The aforementioned doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be any standard 3-nm M2 chips, because the start of sales could still occur at the end of the year if not marked by the announcement during the anticipated event in October, with deliveries starting next year. However, the conversion is considerably less likely given the statement from TSMC – especially if the announcement occurs in October as expected. Smaller structural widths for chips mean less power consumption and heat development under the same operating conditions as chips with larger structural widths – something incredibly decisive for performance in the notebook sector.

More Warmth, More Fans
Although the MacBook Pro had no problems dissipating heat under full load in the case of the M1 Max – this was mainly because the cooling system didn't need to activate very frequently. Thus, there's no reason to fear that the M2 will bring the upcoming notebooks' cooling systems to the limit, even though the chip will still rely on the 5-nm process. However, the whispers of the previous generation's cooling system are likely to get a little louder in exchange for slightly more performance – particularly in the case of models with additional cores.

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