Apple has reportedly contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to manufacture custom 5G modems for its 2023 iPhone lineup. According to a new report from Nikkei Asia, the Cupertino giant is forging a closer partnership with TSMC in hopes of reducing its reliance on Qualcomm for key semiconductor components. Now, the iPhone maker will finally start using its in-house 5G modems in 2023 iPhones, and according to the report, they will be built on TSMC’s 4nm process.
In 2018, Apple dropped Qualcomm due to patent disputes, although the company still uses Qualcomm’s X60 in its iPhone 13 lineup. However, after dropping Qualcomm, the company acquired Intel’s smartphone modem division for $1 billion in 2019. Last year, Cupertino confirmed that it was working on its own 5G modems. Today, a new report suggests that Apple’s custom-made 5G modems will debut in 2023.
Custom 5G Modem Will Give Apple More Control Over Hardware Integration Capability
Apple has been using its own in-house A-series mobile processor for over a decade now, but it still uses 5G modems manufactured by a third-party company. But soon, that will change. The iPhone maker will use its in-house 5G modem made by TSMC. According to Nikkei, the Taiwanese chip titan will make 5G modems for Apple’s 2023 iPhone. The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said Cupertino “will adopt TSMC’s 4nm chip production technology to mass produce its first in-house 5G modem chip.”
With the in-house 5G modem chip for iPhones, Apple will not just save the money on fees it currently pays to Qualcomm, but it will also give Apple more control over its hardware integration capability. Further, it will help boost its chips’ efficiency. Citing multiple sources, the report said that developing its own modem would pave the way for the US giant to integrate TSMC’s chip with its in-house mobile A-series processor.