According to Taiwanese research company TrendForce, Apple chip maker TSMC is reducing its ambitions to manufacture 3nm chips in 2019 because Intel delayed a significant order.
Due to design and verification challenges, mass manufacturing of Intel’s Meteor Lake tGPU chipset, which was originally expected to be outsourced to TSMC, was postponed to the first half of 2023. Now, Intel is alleged to have postponed mass manufacturing until the end of 2023, thereby cancelling the 3nm chip production capacity it had reserved with TSMC for the most of the following year.
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In order to prevent its manufacturing capacity from being “excessively idle, leading to huge cost amortisation pressure,” TSMC has reportedly been “greatly affected” by the decision, causing it to scale back its expansion of 3nm chip production.
TSMC’s initial mass manufacture of 3nm chips is thought to have been primarily for Apple. The study states that as of right now, Apple is the only significant company among the first batch of 3nm chip production clients with orders due between the second half of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. New M-series CPUs and the “A17 Bionic” are supposedly among Apple’s future 3nm chips.
Apple’s 3nm chip production volume and timeline may be impacted by the interruption at TSMC brought on by Intel. The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros as well as a high-end Mac mini are expected to use the M2 Pro, which is reported to be Apple’s first 3nm chip.