Apple is gearing up to unveil its next-generation Apple Silicon chip, likely to be named M3, at its upcoming event on October 30. The new chip is expected to bring significant performance and efficiency improvements over the previous M2 chip, and could power the new Macs such as the MacBook Pro and iMac. The M3 chip is also rumored to come in different variants, depending on the number of cores and the production process. Here is everything you need to know about Apple’s upcoming M3 chips.
What is Apple M3?
Apple M3 is the next-generation Apple Silicon chip that is expected to power the Macs for the next few years. Apple Silicon is Apple’s own custom-designed processor that integrates various components such as CPU, GPU, memory, and neural engine into a single chip. Apple Silicon chips offer better performance, battery life, and security than the Intel chips that Apple used to rely on for its Macs.
Apple introduced its first Apple Silicon chip, the M1, in November 2020, and followed it up with the M2 chip in April 2021. The M1 chip featured 8 CPU cores (4 high-performance and 4 efficiency cores) and up to 8 GPU cores, while the M2 chip had the same CPU configuration but upped the GPU cores to 10. Both chips were based on a 5-nanometer production process, which means they had smaller transistors and higher density than the previous 7-nanometer chips.
The M3 chip is expected to be the successor of the M2 chip, and could feature more CPU and GPU cores, as well as a possible shift to a 3-nanometer production process, which would make it even more efficient and powerful.
What are the different variants of M3?
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a reliable track record of reporting on Apple’s plans, the M3 chip could come in three variants: M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. Each variant could have different configurations of CPU and GPU cores, as well as memory options. Here are the details of each variant:
- M3: The base M3 chipset would feature 8 CPU cores, with 4 high-performance and 4 efficiency cores. Moreover, it could feature as many as 10 GPU cores, which is the same as M2, but could offer improved memory configurations, getting better performance out of each core.
- M3 Pro: The higher-end M3 chip, the M3 Pro, is being reportedly tested in different configurations. As per Gurman, it could feature as many as 12 CPU cores, with 6 performance and 6 efficiency cores. The GPU cores are also expected to be bumped up to 18. On the other hand, the top configuration would get 14 CPU cores (with 2 additional performance cores) and 20 GPU cores.
- M3 Max: The M3 Max chip will reportedly feature 16 cores in one of its configurations, with 12 high-performance and 4 efficiency cores. The GPU cores could be bumped up to a mammoth 40 in its top configuration. As per Gurman, the M3 Max is the top-end chip in the M3 lineup and is expected to get 32 GPU cores in the base configuration.
What are the benefits of M3?
The M3 chip is expected to bring several benefits over the previous Apple Silicon chips, such as:
- Faster performance: The M3 chip could offer faster performance than the M2 chip by having more CPU and GPU cores, as well as higher clock speeds and memory bandwidth. The CPU cores could handle complex tasks such as video editing and gaming, while the GPU cores could handle graphics-intensive tasks such as rendering and animation. The M3 chip could also support higher resolutions and refresh rates for displays.
- Better energy efficiency: The M3 chip could offer better energy efficiency than the M2 chip by having a smaller production process and lower power consumption. The production process refers to how small the transistors are on a chip, which affects how much electricity they use and how much heat they generate. The smaller the process, the more efficient the chip. The M3 chip is rumored to be based on a 3-nanometer process, which would make it more efficient than the 5-nanometer process of the M2 chip.
- More compatibility: The M3 chip could offer more compatibility than the M2 chip by supporting more types of software and hardware. The software compatibility refers to how well the chip can run applications that are designed for different platforms, such as Windows or Linux. The hardware compatibility refers to how well the chip can work with external devices, such as monitors, keyboards, or printers. The M3 chip could support more software and hardware by having more cores and memory, as well as improved emulation and virtualization technologies.
When will M3 be launched?
Apple is expected to launch the M3 chip at its upcoming event on October 30, which is being termed as ‘Scary Fast’, perhaps a reference to the new M3 chips. The event will be streamed live on Apple’s website and YouTube channel at 5:00 PM PT (6:30 AM IST on October 31). The event could also showcase the new Macs that will be powered by the M3 chip, such as the MacBook Pro and iMac. The new Macs could feature a redesigned chassis, a mini-LED display, a MagSafe charging port, and more ports than the current models.
The M3 chip is expected to be a game-changer for Apple and its Mac lineup, as it could offer unprecedented performance and efficiency, while also giving users more options and flexibility. The M3 chip could also give Apple an edge over its competitors, such as Intel and AMD, who are also working on their own chips for laptops and desktops. The M3 chip could be the next big thing in the world of computing, and we can’t wait to see what it can do.