Kuo: M3 Chip Still Months Away, Entering Mass Production in Second Half of 2023
Apple's next-generation M3 chip will enter mass production in the second half of 2023, according to info shared today by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
In a tweet, Kuo said M3 chip production will begin "slightly ahead" of the M3 Pro and M3 Max. Apple should use the M3 chip for future models of the 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, and Mac mini, while the higher-end M3 Pro and M3 Max chips are destined for the next 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which Bloomberg's Mark Gurman expects to be released in the first half of 2024.
The M3 chip is expected to be manufactured based on Apple chipmaking partner TSMC's latest 3nm process, compared to 5nm for the M2 chip. As a 3nm chip, the M3 should offer significant performance and power efficiency improvements.
As for the long-rumored 15-inch MacBook Air, Kuo said the laptop will be equipped with the M2 chip. Back in June 2022, Kuo predicted that the 15-inch model would also be available with the M2 Pro chip, but he no longer expects this.
The key takeaway from Kuo's latest information is that the first Macs with the M3 chip are likely still months away from launching. This makes sense given that the next Mac Pro desktop tower is rumored to feature the M2 Ultra chip, and it is likely that Apple would finish its rollout of the M2 series of chips before announcing the M3 chip.
Top Rated Comments
I could easily see the rumors of M3 production starting in December 2022 as being EVT (Engineering Verification Test) runs to work out package production (so SoC plus RAM). They could have even been A17 EVT and the source thought it was M3 because it was 3nm.
I believe that the A17 will soak up the vast majority of TSMC's 3nm production through Spring and Summer and therefore I don't expect to see serious M3 production until this Fall and therefore could see M3 not formally appearing in product until a Spring 2024 Mac event with the 13" Air (and maybe a 15" refresh) and the 24" iMac.