Apple's 'M3 Pro' chipset could feature 12 CPU cores

The first M3 chips will reportedly arrive later this year.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Apple is testing an M3 chipset with a 12-core processor and 18-core GPU, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman reports a source sent him App Store developer logs that show the chip running on an unannounced MacBook Pro with macOS 14. He speculates the M3 variant Apple is testing is the base-level M3 Pro the company plans to release sometime next year.

Notably, the M3 line is expected to take advantage of TSMC’s forthcoming 3nm node process. The move from 5nm to 3nm would appear to account for the increase in core density. If you recall, the M1 Pro and M2 Pro feature eight- and 10-core processors, alongside 14 and 16-core GPUs. Put another way, the M3 Pro reportedly features 50 percent more CPU cores than its first-generation predecessor. Per Gurman, Apple has gone with an even split between high-performance and efficiency cores on the new silicon. He says the chip was spotted configured with 36GB of RAM. For context, the M2 Pro starts with 16GB of memory, and you can upgrade it to feature up to 32GB of RAM.

Of course, before Apple announces the M3 Pro, the company first needs to release the standard M3 chip. “My belief is the first Macs with M3 chips will begin arriving toward the end of the year or early next year,” Gurman notes. In the meantime, Apple is expected to announce its newest Mac, the long-rumored 15-inch MacBook Air, at WWDC 2023 next month.