Apple M3: a new chip for new Macs in 2023

Apple M3: a new chip for new Macs in 2023

Apple is said to be preparing new MacBooks and iMacs for 2023. The main updates will be the integration of an M3 chip engraved in 3nm, which would offer significantly higher performance than the M1 and M2. In this article we will break down everything we know about the new M3 chip so far.

What are the latest Apple leaks in 2023?

Apple's traditional leaker, Mark Gurman, is a Bloomberg journalist who is famous for his more often than not correct predictions on up and coming Apple projects. He regularly reveals these in Power On, his weekly newsletter. And in the March 5th, 2023 edition, he announced several new features that will please Mac enthusiasts, with the imminent arrival of a new M3 chip that will soon be installed in various models, including a new 24-inch iMac, and probably in the 13-inch MacBook Air, which could be accompanied this year by a much-anticipated big brother, a 15-inch MacBook Air. 

M3 chip: more power and better energy efficiency

According to the Gurman, who seems to have reliable sources, Apple is in the process of carrying out validation tests on its new in-house chip, the M3. A SoC – an all-in-one circuit comprising a main processor (CPU), a graphics processor (GPU), various specialized circuits and RAM – which would succeed the famous M1 and M2 chips by benefiting from a major update: a 3nm (nanometer) engraving, instead of the 5nm technology used on previous generations of Apple chips. TSMC, the famous and essential Taiwanese manufacturer, which supplies integrated circuits to the main digital players, opened its 3nm production lines towards the end of 2022, and Apple, which is one of its main customers, will be a priority for equipping its new products and thus consolidating its technological lead in the field over its competitors.

© Apple

In addition to the advantage of offering the first of the chips made with this new manufacturing process, Apple will benefit from two very concrete advantages by moving to 3nm. First of all, this very high etching fineness makes it possible to integrate more transistors – the basic cells of any integrated circuit – and therefore to place more modules in the same surface – more cores, more neural calculation units , etc. – with, as a result, greater computing power. In addition there will be lower power consumption with a constant architecture – a key criteria for reducing heat dissipation and optimizing the autonomy of its mobile devices. Apple could thus consolidate its lead on the performance/consumption ratio compared to the competition – Intel, AMD and Nvidia – by offering computers that are both powerful and energy efficient, something that has already been established with their M1 and M2 chips. This is a particularly important double advantage at a time when energy management is becoming essential.

Especially since Apple, who is yet to comment on the subject, will take the opportunity to improve the architecture of its in-house chip, as was the case for the transition from M1 to M2. It is not by chance that Apple preferred the ARM architecture to replace Intel x86 and x64 type processors in its computers, with the success that we know. Mark Gurman even predicts that Apple wants to offer a new generation of M chip each year, as it already does for its iPhones with the A series. An M1 in 2020-2021, an M2 in 2022 , an M3 in 2023: we would thus see an M4 arriving on new Macs in 2024!

What new Macs in 2023: 24-inch iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air and 15-inch MacBook Air?

Of course, the M3 won't arrive on its own – unlike Intel and AMD, Apple doesn't sell its individual chips separately. According to Mark Gurman, the new SoC would equip several new Macs marketed this year, and be before the summer. This could suggest the imminent arrival of a new all-in-one desktop computer, in this case a subtly revisited 24-inch iMac. Subtly because, according to the expert, Apple would make significant changes inside, without changing the exterior design of the current model, released in April 2021. A policy already adopted for the iPhone 14 which took over the envelope of the iPhone 13, but benefiting from many internal improvements. It could also be the opportunity to introduce new tech such as Wi-Fi 6E, more ports, and maybe a better repairability. 

Mark Gurman has also discussed the likely release of new portable models: more specifically, a 13-inch MacBook Air – one of the Apple brand's bestsellers – powered by an M3 chip, and, above all, a 15-inch MacBook Air, also equipped an M3: a large format model that is currently missing from the Apple catalog, which seems to be demanded by many users, but which could also overshadow the 15-inch MacBook Pro. But, again, these are only predictions: we have to wait patiently for official information to find out what Apple has in store for 2023. We could have more news very soon with the incoming Apple event in Spring. Keep posted! 

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