Production for the next generation of Apple-designed M3 chips is set to begin in the second half of this year, according to reliable industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple has used its own ARM-based M series silicon chips in almost all of its computers since the company unveiled the first M1-powered MacBooks in November 2020. Only the desktop-sized, cheese-grater-looking Mac Pro has yet to transition to Apple silicon and still runs on Intel’s Xeon platform.
The upcoming M3 chip will be the eighth iteration of Apple’s SoC design – following the M1, M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra, M2, and M2 Pro and Max chips – and will reportedly offer significant improvements over the current-gen chips thanks to advancements from chip fabricator Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC).
Leave some chips for the rest of us, Apple
All previous M series chips have used TSMC’s 5nm fabrication process. The M3 chip – and the A17 Bionic SoC which will presumably feature in the iPhone 15 Pro series – will reportedly be among the first commercially available chips to use the Taiwanese manufacturer’s new 3nm fabrication process. That’s according to a DigiTimes report (via MacRumors) from earlier this year.
With this new fabrication process, TSMC has found a way to reduce the size of every transistor (what the 5nm and 3nm measurements refer to) allowing them to fit more on a single chip. Every time the industry moves down a size, it usually results in a performance jump. This time should be no different with a reported 35% performance boost over TSMC’s current 4nm process.
Now, with Kuo’s latest prediction, we have an idea of when we can expect the next round of Apple hardware.
This year, the fruit company broke tradition and didn’t hold an event in March. Its next scheduled event, World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), is set to take place sometime in June with all rumours pointing to the company unveiling its much-anticipated mixed-reality headset.
So we’re only likely to see anything official regarding the M3 chips after that, possibly for the event the company usually holds in August or September. Can you wait that long?