TSMC (or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) has reportedly been hired by Apple to provide unique 5G modems for iPhones in 2023. According to a source citing people familiar with the situation, Apple’s decision to switch to Apple-designed 5G modems for iPhones in 2023 will minimise the company’s reliance on Qualcomm for crucial components.
Apple, for example, has been preparing to switch to its own built modems for some years, and the firm purchased the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business in 2019.
The Cupertino-based company is also working on radio frequency and millimetre wave components to complement the 5G modem in iPhones, according to Nikkei Asia. Furthermore, Apple is reported to be developing its own power management component particularly for the modem.
Apple has thus far relied on Qualcomm modems, even in the most recent iPhone series – the iPhone 13. The latest research backs with a recent Qualcomm statement in which the chipmaker predicted that just 20% of iPhone modem orders will be placed by 2023.
According to a new story from Nikkei Asia, Apple is now trialling an in-house 5G modem utilising TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology. For mass manufacturing, the business is planned to convert to a more modern 4-nanometer technology. Apple is anticipated to save money by switching to custom-designed 5G modems rather than Qualcomm-supplied components.
According to several rumours, TSMC, Apple’s major chip manufacturing partner, plans to employ the all-new 4-nanometer architecture for the next-generation Bionic A-series chipset that will power the iPhone 14 line-up. While Apple has chosen to power iPads with 3-nanometer circuits, which are expected to be released next year.
TSMC is the manufacturer of all iPhone A-series processors and M1 systems-on-chip for new Macbooks.