Apple is said to be preparing new portable and fixed Macs for 2023. Main novelty: the integration of an M3 chip engraved in 3 nm, which would offer significantly higher performance than the M1 and M2.
Apple has its own “leaker”: Mark Gurman. Always very well informed, this Bloomberg journalist is indeed famous for his often correct predictions on the projects of the apple firm, which he regularly reveals in Power On, his weekly newsletter. And in March 5, 2023 edition, he announces several new features that will delight Mac enthusiasts, with the imminent arrival of an M3 chip that will soon take place in various models, including a new 24-inch iMac, and probably in the 13-inch MacBook Air, which will would be accompanied this year by a highly anticipated big brother, a 15-inch MacBook Air. What, perhaps, to make wait a few more months those who intended to equip themselves with a new Mac…
M3 chip: more power and better energy efficiency
According to the journalist, who seems to have very reliable sources internally, Apple is in the process of carrying out validation tests on its new in-house chip, the M3. A SoC – an all-in-one circuit comprising a main processor (CPU), a graphics processor (GPU), various specialized circuits and RAM – which would succeed the famous M1 and M2 by benefiting from a major novelty: 3 nm engraving, instead of the 5 nm technology used on previous generations of Apple chips. TSMCthe famous and essential Taiwanese manufacturer, which supplies integrated circuits to the main digital players, has indeed opened its production lines in 3 nm at the end of 2022and Apple, which is one of its main customers, will obviously be served as a priority to equip its new products and thus consolidate its technological lead in the field over its competitors.
In addition to the advantage of offering the first of the chips made with this new manufacturing process, Apple will benefit from two very concrete advantages by moving to 3 nm. First of all, this very high etching fineness very logically makes it possible to integrate more transistors – the basic cells of any integrated circuit – and therefore to place more modules in the same surface – more cores, more neural calculation units , etc. – with, as a result, greater computing power. Then, lower power consumption, with a constant architecture – a key criterion for reducing heat dissipation and optimizing the autonomy of mobile devices. Apple could thus consolidate its lead on the performance/consumption ratio compared to the competition – in the first place, Intel, AMD and Nvidia – by offering computers that are both powerful and energy efficient, in line with current models. A particularly important double advantage at a time when energy management is becoming an essential criterion.
Especially since the Cupertino company – which obviously did not comment on the subject – should take the opportunity to improve the architecture of its in-house chip, as was the case for the transition from M1 to M2. Because if the finesse of engraving does a lot in the “mechanical” optimization, it is always the very structure of a SoC that is its strength. It is not by chance that Apple preferred the ARM architecture to replace Intel x86 and x64 type processors in its computers, with the success that we know… And the Apple brand surely does not count stop in such a good way: Mark Gurman even predicts that Apple wants to offer a new generation of M chip each year, as it already does for its iPhones with the A series. An M1 in 2020-2021, an M2 in 2022 , an M3 in 2023: we would thus see an M4 arriving on new Macs in 2024!
New Macs in 2023: 24-inch iMac, 13-inch MacBook Air and 15-inch MacBook Air?
Of course, the M3 won’t happen on its own – unlike Intel and AMD, Apple doesn’t sell its individual chips separately. Still according to Mark Gurman, the new SoC would equip several new Macs marketed this year, and be before the summer. The “diviner” is thus betting on the imminent arrival of a new all-in-one desktop computer, in this case a subtly revisited 24-inch iMac. Subtly because, according to the expert, Apple would make significant changes inside, without changing the exterior design of the current model, released in April 2021. A policy already adopted for the iPhone 14 which took over the envelope of the iPhone 13, but benefiting from many internal improvements. And the opportunity to introduce newer technologies – Wi-Fi 6E? –, to install more ports, even – let’s dream a little – to make this magnificent one-piece computer easier to open and repair…
Mark Gurman also discusses the likely release of new portable models: more specifically, a 13-inch MacBook Air – one of the Apple brand’s bestsellers – powered by an M3 chip, and, above all, a 15-inch MacBook Air, also equipped an M3: a large format model that is currently missing from the Apple catalog, which seems to be demanded by many users, but which could also overshadow the 15-inch MacBook Pro. But, again, these are only predictions: we have to wait patiently for official information to find out what Apple has in store for 2023.