Apple is to switch to its own 5G modem designs for its 2023 iPhone, according to fresh reports from Asia.
According to Nikkei, Apple will turn to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to produce its next-generation 5G modem. Apple’s first in-house 5G modem will utilise TSMC’s 4-nanometer chip production technology, but the chip will incorporate Apple’s own radio frequency, millimetre wave, and and power management components.
This latest tip, which is said to come from “four people familiar with the matter”, is lent credence by Qualcomm’s recent reveal that its iPhone modem orders would drop to just 20% in 2023.
Apple is said to be making a concerted effort to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm (which is in the process of revamping its branding), which currently dominates the 5G modem market. It makes all of the modems for the current iPhone 13 line.
Apple bought Intel’s mobile modem business in 2019 as a means to wean itself off Qualcomm’s modems, and settled a patent suit with the company that same year.
At present, TSMC produces all of Apple’s iPhone and Mac processors – the A-series and M-series respectively – and is said to have hundreds of its engineers stationed at Apple’s Cupertino HQ to assist with the company’s chip development roadmap.
As well as switching to TSMC’s 4nm process with the 2023 iPhone, Apple is said to be switching to the manufacturer’s 3nm process for next year’s iPads.