Apple’s M3 Ultra chip may be designed as its own, standalone chip, rather than be made up of two M3 Max dies, according to a plausible new theory.


The theory comes from Max Tech‘s Vadim Yuryev, who outlined his thinking in a post on X earlier today. Citing a post from @techanalye1 which suggests the M3 Max chip no longer features the UltraFusion interconnect, Yuryev postulated that the as-yet-unreleased “M3 Ultra” chip will not be able to comprise two Max chips in a single package. This means that the M3 Ultra is likely to be a standalone chip for the first time.

This would enable Apple to make specific customizations to the M3 Ultra to make it more suitable for intense workflows. For example, the company could omit efficiency cores entirely in favor of an all-performance core design, as well as add even more GPU cores. At minimum, a single M3 Ultra chip designed in this way would be almost certain to offer better performance scaling than the M2 Ultra did compared to the ‌M2‌ Max, since there would no longer be efficiency losses over the UltraFusion interconnect.

Furthermore, Yuryev speculated that the M3 Ultra could feature its own UltraFusion interconnect, allowing two M3 Ultra dies to be combined in a single package for double the performance in a hypothetical “M3 Extreme” chip. This would enable superior performance scaling compared to packaging four M3 Max dies and open the possibility of even higher amounts of unified memory.

Little is currently known about the M3 Ultra chip, but a report in January suggested that it will be fabricated using TSMC’s N3E node, just like the A18 chip that is expected to debut in the iPhone 16 lineup later in the year. This means it would be Apple’s first N3E chip. The M3 Ultra is rumored to launch in a refreshed Mac Studio model in mid-2024.

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