Apple to switch to self-developed modems for smartphones in 2023 - Nikkei
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
The company will manufacture them together with TSMC. Joseph Marc Blumenthal
● Apple plans to start mass production of its first 5G modem chip based on a 4nm TSMC chip with its own components, Nikkei found out from sources familiar with the details of the negotiations. The company is also working on its own charging control chip for the modem. The iPhone 13 uses components manufactured by Qualcomm.
● TSMC is slated to be the sole manufacturing partner. In mid-November 2021, Qualcomm said it would only provide 20% of iPhone modems in two years.
● Sources said that testing will begin with 5nm technology, after which the company will move to 4nm chips for mass production. Sales of devices will begin no earlier than 2023 - telecom operators will need time to check and test modems.
● In 2019, Apple paid Qualcomm $4.5 billion in a patent dispute. Modems of our own production will allow to abandon the purchase of a license from Qualcomm and create a chip with more power, the sources explained.
● In 2019, Apple bought the production of modems for smartphones from Intel for $1 billion.
● TSMC is a manufacturer of iPhone A-series processors and M1-based chips for computers. TSMC engineers work together with Apple's development team.