Apple allegedly planning a partnership with TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) to manufacture its own 5G modem for the future iPhone devices.
According to Nikkei, Apple plans to use TSMC’s 4nm process, which has not yet been implemented for any commercial product; the modem is apparently being designed and tested at 5nm before moving to mass production in 2023 at 4nm, reports Gadgets 360.
Apple’s transition to modems of its own design is expected to happen in 2023, and TSMC is a natural partner in production.
Qualcomm, which is a dominant player in the industry and produces modem components for the entire iPhone 13 line, recently said it expects to make up only 20 percent of iPhone modem orders in two years.
Apple bought Intel’s 5G modem division in 2019, which indicated a possible transition. Earlier that year, Qualcomm and Apple agreed to end a costly modem patent patent dispute, with Qualcomm receiving more than $4 billion as part of the settlement.
TSMC is the manufacturer of all iPhone A-series processors and M1 systems on a chip for Macs. There are hundreds of Cupertino-based TSMC engineers working with Apple’s chip development team.
The iPhone SoC for 2022 will reportedly use TSMC’s 4nm process, and it is also mentioned that some iPad models will adopt 3nm processors as early as 2023.