Talk of an Apple M3 Chip Already?

Talk of an Apple M3 Chip Already?
Image: Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

During WWDC last month, Apple debuted its long-awaited M2 chip. It’s already powering the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The Apple M1 chip was leaps and bounds ahead of what other professional-grade laptop chips were capable of when it was first revealed in 2020, and the M2 takes that a step further.

Apple is quick to caution that the M2 is not as powerful as the M1 Max or M1 Ultra, but in our review of the M2 MacBook Pro, we reported the single core Geekbench scores on the M2 were a slight step up from the M1 Max chip in a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Though the two extra cores in the M1 Max mean the overall performance is much higher. In terms of sheer numbers, the 8-core M2 is a beast.

You can read all about the M2 chip here.

Enter Apple’s M3 chip

As we’ve detailed above, Apple has only just released the first devices with its M2 chip, and we expect that to be followed by M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. Like the M3, we don’t have anything official on those.

Details on the M3 are scant, but according to a report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is already working on an M3 chip destined for a future iMac and other products.

The M3 may use the updated Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) chip manufacturing technology. It has been reported TSMC has developed what it’s calling N3, a new 3-nanometer (3nm) chip design. The current M1 and M2 chips use TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology. As highlighted by CreativeBloq, moving to 3-nanometer would offer a significant boost in power and efficiency. It is understood TSMC plans to start volume production of 3-nanometer chip designs in the fourth quarter of this year.

It could mean the new Mac might not launch until the M3 is ready.

Gurman said Apple is already at work on the M2’s successor, and the company is planning to use that chip as early as next year with updates to the 13-inch MacBook Air code-named J513, a 15-inch MacBook Air known as J515, a new iMac code-named J433 and possibly a 12-inch laptop that’s still in early development.

We’ll keep this post updated as we learn more.