After the chips dedicated to the iPhone, iPad and Mac, Apple’s next step is to design its own 5G modems for the iPhone and it has already tasked TSMC with the production task by 2023. According to a Nikkei Asia report, this long-standing plan aims to move away from Qualcomm as a provider of cellular connectivity chips. Will it work for Apple?
Apple no longer wants to depend on third parties, its next step is the 5G modems for the iPhone manufactured by TSMC
This will be the first internal 5G modem chip to adopt 4 nanometer technology from TSMC. It will be a large mass production, plus the Taiwan manufacturer is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem. Apple will also support the exclusive power management issue for said chip.
The plans are in line with rumors that Apple will launch its own modem for the iPhone in 2023. While Qualcomm is already preparing for a likely drop in demand for its parts. They expect to have a 20% share in the production of chips for the iPhone in that year. What could happen is that Apple gives priority to its modems in major regions of the world and some markets will have the Qualcomm modem.
An interesting tidbit is that Apple and TSMC are testing a 5-nanometer size for internal modem designs. They don’t want any flaws in the process before switching to 4 nanometer technology and mass production.
The first acid test will be with a chip from the A series
Before 2023 rolls around, Apple and TSMC have a plan to use 4-nanometer technology on an A-series chip. It is very likely that next year, Apple will announce the change for its iPhones. If everything turns out perfectly, the iPhone of 2023 could incorporate a chip of the series A of 3 nanometers, although this is only a rumor on the part of the Nikkei Asia report. The 2022 iPad is also expected to have this incorporation, although everything will depend on the evolution of the processes.