San Francisco: Apple Inc. announced a new iMac, laptops and
the third generation of its in-house Mac processor line on Monday,
rolling out an M3 chip with major improvements to overall performance
and graphics horsepower.

The new chip lineup relies on advanced
3-nanometer manufacturing technology and more efficiently handles
graphics processing, Apple said in a presentation Monday. The base model
has eight main cores – the processing engines on a chip – in addition
to 10 cores for graphics.

The announcement was part of a “Scary
Fast”-branded product unveiling, an unusually timed event that kicked
off at 5 p.m. California time.

New MacBook Pro models, also
unveiled at the event, will run the new processors. That will make them
more powerful while retaining their 22 hours of battery life, Apple
said. Apple also debuted a version of its 24-inch all-in-one iMac that
runs the M3.

The company’s homegrown semiconductor business –
known as Apple Silicon – has become a prized asset. Since switching to
its own chips from Intel Corp. components in 2020, Apple has seen sales
of its Mac computers grow sharply, helped by a broader run-up in tech
spending during the pandemic.


But
in recent quarters, revenue began to slide again and competition has
intensified. The M3 launch is meant to help restore Apple’s advantage in
the industry and get the Mac business back on track.

Mac sales
are forecast to climb about 5% in the holiday quarter, with the revenue
growing 5.5% in the fiscal year that began this month, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.

The switch to the M3 marks the first time
Apple – or any other high-volume computer manufacturer – has moved to
the 3-nanometer technology. The 3-nanometer process squeezes in more
transistors, getting more technology into a tighter space. Such chips
are designed to amp up performance while still saving battery life.

The
company also introduced two other tiers of the M3 – Pro and Max
versions – that are aimed at higher-performance machines. The M3 Pro
chip’s central processing unit has 12 cores, with 18 for graphics. And
the M3 Max has 16 main cores and 40 graphics cores, making it 80% faster
than the M1 chip from 2021.

Apple’s announcement follows other
signs that the computer processor business is heating up. Intel, its
former partner, gave an upbeat forecast last week that sent shares
soaring. Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are working on new
processors based on technology from Arm Holdings Plc. And Qualcomm Inc.
unveiled a laptop processor last week that it touted as faster than
Apple’s M2.

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13 thoughts on “Macintosh’s “Frightening Quick” Occasion: New M3 Chip, iMac, MacBook Divulged”
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