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The next MacBook Air and iMac could come with a 3nm M3 chip

The next MacBook Air and iMac could come with a 3nm M3 chip


According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s next-generation M3 chip could arrive later this year or early next year.

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Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 processor
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Apple’s working on a MacBook Air and iMac with an M3 chip built using the more efficient 3-nanometer fabrication process, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. While it’s not clear when the two upgraded devices might launch, Gurman expects the M3 chip to arrive later this year or early next year.

Gurman first hinted at this in June of last year, noting that Apple’s working on an M3-equipped 13-inch MacBook Air, 15-inch MacBook Air, and a new iMac. At the time, he added that the M3 chip could appear as early as this year, but that hasn’t happened just yet.

Instead, Apple included the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips with the lineup of MacBook Pros it announced earlier this month, and also added an M2 Pro chip to the Mac Mini. These chips are based on a second-generation 5nm process, which is still an upgrade from the standard 5nm process Apple uses to fabricate its M1 chips.

The upcoming M3 chip, however, is expected to take things a step further. According to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the company that makes Apple’s chips, the 3nm process can improve speed by up to 15 percent and reduce power consumption by 30 percent when compared to the 5nm process. TSMC began mass-producing 3nm chips at its Taiwan-based facilities last year, but this technology isn’t set to arrive at the manufacturer’s new Arizona fab until 2026.

The MacBook Air and iMac aren’t the only devices that could soon get an M3 upgrade. On the same day Apple announced its new MacBook Pros, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple could launch another round of MacBook Pro models with new 3nm M3 Pro and M3 Max processors in the first half of 2024. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if this rumor pans out, along with Gurman’s prediction that Apple could release a touchscreen Mac in 2025.