- Apple’s upcoming M3 processor is expected to feature a 3nm architecture from TSMC.
- The M3-powered MacBooks were rumoured to launch in October this year.
- Industry experts say that Apple is facing challenges with the mass production of the M3 chipset.
Apple was said to be working on its latest M3 processor for MacBooks and iMacs. The new M3 chip is expected to be engineered on a 3nm architecture, using TSMC’s technology. However, it is being reported that Apple may not launch M3-powered MacBooks this year.
Apple enthusiasts have been anticipating the new M3 chip, as it is going to be a huge upgrade over Apple’s M2 processor. It looks like the challenges of 3nm manufacturing will delay the launch of M3-based MacBooks.
No M3-powered MacBooks in 2023 as per Ming-Chi Kuo
Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared a post on Twitter about Apple’s M3 processor. As per him, Apple will not be launching any M3-powered MacBooks this year.
看起來到今年年底前，Apple應該都不會發售新款的MacBook (配備M3系列處理器) 機型了
It seems that Apple will not launch new MacBook models (equipped with M3 series processors) before the end of this year.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) September 8, 2023
Previously, Bloomberg had reported that Apple could introduce MacBooks with the new M3 processor as early as October 2023. However, Kuo’s latest report says that Apple is not ready with the M3 chip for mass production.
The Apple M3 processor is confirmed to be manufactured on a 3nm architecture by TSMC. It is worth noting that TSMC only has a 55% yield in making 3nm processors from raw silicon. The company has already mentioned that manufacturing 3nm chips is challenging for mass production standpoint.
Previously, it was reported Apple has reserved the entire 3nm production lineup of TSMC for its processors. Based on the situation, it looks like Apple may prioritize it for the A17 Bionic chip, which will be used in the iPhone 15 Series. Apple is scheduled to launch the iPhone 15 next week, on September 12.
Given the new design of the iPhone 15 with thinner bezels, the demand for the iPhone 15 Series is expected to be very high. Ming-Chi Kuo had also reported that Apple could surpass Samsung to become to largest phone maker in the world by end of 2023.
All these factors suggest that Apple is struggling to mass produce the M3 chips for its MacBooks. Kuo says that Apple may postpone the M3 chip to Q1 2024. In the meanwhile, TSMC is also expected to increase the production lines of 3nm processors.
Apple M3 Processor: Specifications (Expected)
The highlight of the upcoming Apple M3 processor is its 3nm architecture, making it more power efficient and increasing the logic density of the chip. The new chipset will have the same octa-core configuration as the existing Apple M2 processor, as per Mark Gurman.
The chipset is expected to have a 20W TDP. The new chip will also be ARM-based, just like every other M-series processor. Apple may increase the clock speed of the GPU on the M3 while using a similar 10-core GPU configuration.
As per rumours, Apple will introduce the M3 processor in its regular MacBook first. It will be later followed by the MacBook Pro and iMac, where Apple may also unveil the M3 Pro and M3 Ultra processors.