All eyes are on the Apple M3 chip, which is supposed to be the Cupertino tech giant’s next generation of silicon. Yes, we’re still waiting for the first devices featuring the M2 to be released next month. However, given the length of the development process, we’re very convinced that the M3 is already in testing, even if we’re still expecting an M2 Pro, M2 Max, and M2 Ultra first.
Apple changed the game by switching from Intel to producing its own system on a chip. The first outcome was the M1, which was available on the November 2020 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. And it did not disappoint, providing lightning-fast processing and efficiency.
Apple then released the even more powerful M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra chips, and now the M2, which is less powerful than the updated M1 chips but has more transistors and memory bandwidth than the original M1. So it’s understandable that folks are looking forward to the Apple M3, especially given speculations that Intel’s upcoming Meteor Lake CPU could dethrone the Apple M2.
Apple M3 Chip Release Date
So far, rumors imply that the M3 chip will be available in 2023 Macs, but we don’t have a more definite date. The first Macs could be released in early 2023, possibly starting with the Mac Pro, though it is unclear whether the Mac Pro will feature an M3 chip.
What do we know about the Apple M3 chip?
Apple has only recently introduced the first devices with its M2 chip, and we expect it to be followed by M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, but we don’t have anything official on those yet, so specifics on the Apple M3 processor are limited, to say the least. Apple hasn’t let anything escape so far. But, as always, there are leaks and rumors. According to what we’ve learned, an M3 chip is in the works and will most likely use new manufacturing techniques from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
See Also; Apple M2 Chip might not the Next-Gen
TSMC has developed the N3, a new 3-nanometer (3nm) chip architecture. TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology is used in the current M1 and M2 devices. Moving to 3-nanometer would significantly increase power and efficiency. TSMC(opens in new tab) has stated that volume production of 3-nanometer chip designs will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Which Macs will get the M3 chip?
We’re going out on a limb here because Apple’s naming regulations aren’t always constant, but if we look at the pattern thus far, we can make an educated prediction. The M1 chip debuted with the 2020 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. In 2021, the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs will be used in the higher-spec 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros. The Mac Studio, which was released in March of this year, comes with either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra.
Now, in July, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with the M2 chip will be released, and a Mac mini with the same chip may be released later this year. New 14in and 16in MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs are expected to be released next year, with the latter chip rumored to include a 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, and 64GB of memory.
If this trend continues, the M3 is likely to debut in the entry-level MacBook Pro and MacBook Air within the next two years. The higher-end MacBooks might then be expected to follow, with M3 Pro and M3 Max CPUs capable of supporting up to 40 cores.
Of course, there are iMacs, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that Apple is already testing an M3 iMac, though he doesn’t specify whether it will be a new version of the 24-inch model or a larger device and suggests a release date in late 2023 at the most. Gurman also believes that Apple is developing an iMac Pro, but that it will not be available anytime soon.
How will the Apple M3 chip compare to M1 and M2?
TSMC says that its N3 technology will provide up to a 15% increase in speed at the same power and up to a 30% decrease in power at the same speed when compared to N5.
Apple is rumored to be working on three M3 chips, codenamed Ibiza, Lobos, and Palma, using the 3nm process. According to The Information, they will have up to four dies (small blocks of silicon containing an integrated circuit) that can handle up to 40 computation cores. The M1 and M2 have 8-core CPUs, whereas the M1 Pro and Max have 10-core CPUs. If the rumor is genuine, 40 cores would result in a significant performance gain.
The entry-level version for the Macbook Air is rumored to be “Ibiza,” while the four-die versions would be “Lobos” and “Palma” – the M3 equivalents of the existing Pro and Max M1 processors.