Apple M2 Pro and A17 Bionic chips to enter mass production in September 2022
While the Apple M2 is technically the successor to the M1, our benchmark database indicates that it doesn't offer much of a performance uplift. The real gains are said to come from its more powerful, yet-to-be-announced sibling, the M2 Pro/M2 Max (both tentative). Unlike the M2, which was manufactured on a marginally better TSMC N5P node, the Apple M2 Pro will use the vastly superior N3 node. Mass production is expected to kick off sometime in September 2022, according to reports from Taiwanese news outlet Commercial Times (via Macrumors).
The Apple M2 Pro, much like its predecessor, will likely debut alongside new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Thanks to the smaller transistor size (3 nm vs 5 nm), one can expect the performance differential between the Apple M2 and M2 Pro/M2 Max to be much higher than that of the M1 and M1 Pro/M1 Max, which were manufactured on the same node. It has the potential to leave a sour taste in the mouth of early adaptors, who will be stuck with relatively underpowered devices.
Alongside the Apple M2 Pro, TSMC is also expected to kick off mass production of the 3 nm A17 Bionic mobile AP, which is set to power only the iPhone 15 Pro models in 2023. Their non-Pro counterparts will reportedly recycle the 5 nm A16 Bionic chipsets that are set to power this year's iPhone 14 lineup. TSMC N3/N3E/N3P/N3X chips could power Apple devices for the next generation or two, as its successor is still in late stages of development and not quite ready for volume production yet.