Apple M3 Chip: release date, 2023, 3nm processor

Apple M3 Chip: release date, 2023, 3nm processor

In 2020, Apple began its transition from Intel processors to its own, in house, M1 series of chips. Last year the M2 series was released and in 2023, we are expecting the imminent release of the M3 series with another update. In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about this new release and when to expect it.

What is the latest M3 series news?

For the moment Apple has not officially announced the M3 series, however TSMC's next 3nm processor is in production and it should only be a matter of months before we get some more information about how this will be used as the foundation for the M3 chips. 

Will the M3 series use a 3nm process? 

The current M2 series of Apple processors uses TSMC's 5 nanometer (5nm) process, it is expected that the M3 series of chips will receive a die shrink to TSMC's 3nm process. The 3nm technology is said to offer a logic density gain of 70%, a speed improvement of 15% at the same power, and a power reduction of 30% at the same speed compared to the previous 5nm process. Production of the 3nm process reportedly began in late 2022 and should find itself in the upcoming Apple lineup in 2023. 

The next Apple silicon chips using the 3nm process could feature up to four dies, with support for 40 compute cores. Considering the current M2 chip has 4 high-performance and 4 energy-efficient cores, this is quite an improvement. Even the M2 Pro has 10-12 CPU cores and the M2 Max has 12. We can expect a considerable increase in power, but also efficiency with this next generation of M3 chips. 

The impact of Apple moving from a 5nm to 3nm process should be noticeable. We should see more computational performance at a lower wattage. This will allow Apple's devices with their M series chips to be even more energy efficient for a given power output. We could see even thinner designs, for example on the much anticipated 15 inch MacBook Air and even an updated iMac (which was already impressively svelte). 

What Macs will receive the M3 chip?

The current M1 and M2 chips have been used in the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, with the Pro, Max and Ultra versions being used for the higher-end models. We should therefore see this trend continued with the updated MacBook Air, iMac and MacBook Pro's featuring the "standard" M3 chip.  

There are rumours of a 15 inch MacBook Air that could be unveiled as soon as WWDC in June 2023, or there could be a slightly longer wait until September. We could also see an updated iMac, and also Apple's updated Mac Pro lineup, now that the M series chips have been tried, tested and deemed powerful enough to power Apple's most powerful computers. 

When will the M3 Macs be released?

Apple may still release the M2 chip in a few more models, possibly the aforementioned 15 inch MacBook Air, seeing as this is one of their "entry-level" computers. Even if the 15 inch MacBook Air didn't featured the latest M3 chip, it doesn't seem as though this would negatively impact the success of a larger MacBook Air. We will hopefully have more information after Apple's 2023 Worldwide Developer Conference in June. At the very earliest we could see the M3 announced at WWDC 2023, and then released in September.

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