M3 Max Chip Has Hidden Change That Could Affect Future 'M3 Ultra' Chip

Apple's M3 Ultra chip may be designed as its own, standalone chip, rather than be made up of two M3 Max dies, according to a plausible new theory.

apple silicon 1 feature
The theory comes from Max Tech's Vadim Yuryev, who outlined his thinking in a post on X earlier today. Citing a post from @techanalye1 which suggests the M3 Max chip no longer features the UltraFusion interconnect, Yuryev postulated that the as-yet-unreleased "M3 Ultra" chip will not be able to comprise two Max chips in a single package. This means that the M3 Ultra is likely to be a standalone chip for the first time.

This would enable Apple to make specific customizations to the M3 Ultra to make it more suitable for intense workflows. For example, the company could omit efficiency cores entirely in favor of an all-performance core design, as well as add even more GPU cores. At minimum, a single M3 Ultra chip designed in this way would be almost certain to offer better performance scaling than the M2 Ultra did compared to the ‌M2‌ Max, since there would no longer be efficiency losses over the UltraFusion interconnect.

Furthermore, Yuryev speculated that the M3 Ultra could feature its own UltraFusion interconnect, allowing two M3 Ultra dies to be combined in a single package for double the performance in a hypothetical "M3 Extreme" chip. This would enable superior performance scaling compared to packaging four M3 Max dies and open the possibility of even higher amounts of unified memory.

Little is currently known about the M3 Ultra chip, but a report in January suggested that it will be fabricated using TSMC's N3E node, just like the A18 chip that is expected to debut in the iPhone 16 lineup later in the year. This means it would be Apple's first N3E chip. The M3 Ultra is rumored to launch in a refreshed Mac Studio model in mid-2024.

Top Rated Comments

Thunderstrike76 Avatar
3 weeks ago
If there’s one YouTubers videos I roll my eyes constantly at it’s MaxTech.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
3 weeks ago
This is all possible, but the entire thread hinges on “the M3 Max looks, in a blurry, cropped photo, like it might not have an interconnect”, which also hinges on “the M3 Ultra’s interconnect looks exactly like the M1 and M2’s”.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leman Avatar
3 weeks ago
When will we finally stop confusing popularity with competence? It is entirely possible that this theory is correct, however, it is unlikely to be correct simply because Yuryev said so. He knows a great deal about video editing, general computing and semiconductor technology are not really his forte though.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EugW Avatar
3 weeks ago

When will we finally stop confusing popularity with competence? It is entirely possible that this theory is correct, however, it is unlikely to be correct simply because Yuryev said so. He knows a great deal about video editing, general computing and semiconductor technology are not really his forte though.
"not really his forte"

Heh. You are being very, very generous with that description.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PotentPeas Avatar
3 weeks ago
I'm skeptical. The M3 Max die is already huge! They're going to have a 2× bigger single die for M3 Ultra? That seems crazy.

There are a number of options that could pan out.
* The interconnect is there but not clearly visible in this blurry image.
* The interconnect has changed in some way and it is not clear what we should be looking for.
* There is a different variation of the chip that has the interconnect that we haven't seen yet.
* M3 Ultra will be significantly scaled back from what we expected based on M1/M2 Ultra, being a more modest upgrade over M3 Max.
* M3 Ultra isn't even going to make an appearance this generation.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leman Avatar
3 weeks ago

Or maybe they could try some actual courage, and admit that they're not good at building GPUs.
They are quite good at building GPUs, considering how much of the headstart Nvidia had. In some key areas (instruction scheduling, resource allocation, ALU utilization) Apple is ahead of Nvidia. I mean, we have Nvidia engineers openly saying that Apple managed to achieve things Nvidia tried and failed. There is a lot of evidence that Apple is building a superscalar GPU. It’s all quite exiting stuff for me as GPU tech enthusiast. In fact, I think that the GPU division is innovating at a much higher pace than the CPU division.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...