The building blocks for Apple’s rumored M3 chip are underway.
Taiwan-based Apple chipmaker TSMC has reportedly started pilot production on its 3-nanometer process, known as the N3 line. Apple’s M3 Chips Reportedly Just Took a Big Step Toward Production . The factory hopes to move into full production by the end of 2022 and start shipping to Apple and Intel in early 2023, according to DigiTimes, citing unnamed sources (via MacRumors).
Apple’s M1 and M1 Pro/Max chips in MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are based on the 5nm process. Down to 3nm, a more advanced technology, will result in faster performance and increased efficiency. But first, Apple is expected to launch a 4nm (N4) M2 chip sometime next year with the launch of the MacBook Air.
Apple rarely explains its upcoming projects, and hasn’t said anything about its plans for future silicon. However, a recent report by The Information alleges that Apple will use an advanced version of the 5nm node for its second-generation chips with two prints, not just the ones found in the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max.
But the 3nm third-generation chip is what pulls all the headlines. This would apparently represent a “much bigger leap” by using four prints and containing up to 40 CPU cores. In comparison, the M1 Pro and M1 Max have “only” 10 CPU cores in an eight performance and two efficiency configuration.
The 3nm node will not only act as a blueprint for the engine that powers the upcoming MacBook and iPad models, but it can also guide the A17 in the iPhone 15.
We’re looking far into the future here, and all of these details are subject to change. But if Apple can continue to advance what is already one of the fastest and most power-efficient chips found in consumer gadgets, then its competitors, especially Intel, will have a hard time keeping up.
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