The successor to M1 will be at 3nm, Apple already at work

The successor to M1 will be at 3nm, Apple already at work

The successor to M1 will be at 3nm

Apple's aggressive Mac System-On-Chip (SoC) development plan reportedly includes three 3nm chips - codenamed Ibiza, Lobos and Palma - which will arrive in 2023 and offer up to 40 CPU cores per generic use. With its M1 series SoCs, Apple has managed to build a formidable family of highly integrated processors that can compete with the vast majority of CPUs from AMD and Intel. The only untouchable processors for Apple's M1 Max are high-end desktop and workstation models such as AMD's Ryzen Threadripper and Intel's Xeon W.

The Information reported that, next year, Apple expects to introduce its second generation M-series (M2 series?) SoCs for Mac computers. These processors will be made using an improved version of TSMC's N5 node, which is currently used for Apple M1 series SoCs (think N5P, N4, N4P). So, it's probably best not to expect significant improvements in performance and transistor count. But, with an interesting twist, it appears that Apple is planning to build a multi-chip processor in order to achieve higher performance for powerful systems like the MacBook Pro 16.

Tangible improvements will come with the third generation M Series SoCs, as they will be made using TSMC's N3 (3nm class) manufacturing process. The new technology will allow the company to insert significantly more transistors and increase frequencies without increasing power consumption compared to the M1 series offerings. According to the latest information, the alleged “M3” series will include processors with code names Ibiza, Lobos and Palma. Each will target different Mac systems based on their performance requirements. The top-of-the-range offerings are said to offer up to 40 CPU cores on four dies, which may be enough for workstations like the Mac Pro. The report says Apple's first M3 chips will be available in 2023, which is when TSMC begins provide products made using its N3 technology. Keeping in mind that Apple is usually the first company to adopt entirely new nodes, it is reasonable to expect that it will launch the first M3 SoC-based systems in the first half of the year.

Photo Credit: Apple Apple updates its series SoCs A for smartphones and tablets every year. The cadence is made possible by both the company's huge hardware development team and TSMC's regular introduction of new process technologies. With Macs, Apple is looking for constant, but not so regular SoC updates, as it is difficult to develop and produce large chips. Also, not all new TSMC nodes offer the functionality needed for PC SoCs.

Apple Mac Pro 3nm SoC packing up to 40 CPU cores on track for 2023

The bleeding edge: Intel’s new CEO may wish to earn back Apple’s business over time, but the latter is forging ahead with more powerful silicon of its own. It won’t be long before it has workstation-grade hardware that covers both general-purpose compute and graphics and machine learning tasks.

Apple is now halfway through its planned transition to self-designed custom silicon, but the company doesn’t necessarily want to leave Intel and AMD chips behind. The M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chipsets are only the beginning of this journey, yet they’ve already managed to impress in the performance-per-watt department compared to similar CPU+GPU solutions from the x86 world.

According to a report from The Information, the Cupertino giant is hard at work developing even more powerful second-generation and third-generation M-series systems-on-a-chip, codenamed Ibiza, Lobos, and Palma. The first will be a direct successor to the M1 SoC that powers the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini.

The “M2” chipset will be made by TSMC using an upgraded 5 nm process node, so it won’t be a significant upgrade in terms of performance and energy efficiency compared to the M1 SoC. Apple is planning to introduce an M2 variant with two dies, which will offer more performance in desktop Macs. Apple is said to have taped out the design of the M2 SoCs in April 2021, lending credibility to reports that the company could unveil an M2-based MacBook Air next year.

Things get more interesting talking about Apple’s third-generation Apple Silicon, expected to land as soon as 2023. Some of these new chips will reportedly be manufactured using TSMC’s 3nm process node and feature up to four dies. In other words, they’ll pack up to 40 CPU cores in a single package, while Apple’s current Mac Pro can only be configured with up to a 28-core Intel Xeon W CPU.

Reports over the past year have claimed Apple will release another Intel-based Mac Pro in 2022 that could feature Intel Xeon W-3300 processors. A move like this could make sense as the M1-based MacBook Pro 13 coexisted with the Intel-based version for several months.

Overall, it looks like Intel’s relationship with Apple is on its last leg. It won’t be long before Cupertino has workstation-grade hardware that covers both graphics and general-purpose computing. The Cupertino company is already saving billions by ditching Intel and AMD hardware. It looks like it may also lead in the performance-per-watt department in the coming years.

Powered by Blogger.