A new Nikkei Asia report details that Apple is “forging a closer partnership” with TSMC to fabricate its 5G modem for 2023 iPhones. Citing four people aware of the matter, the report claims that Apple will be using TSMC’s 4nm node for mass-producing its in-house 5G modem, though it is currently trailing production on the 5nm node.
To go along with the modem, Apple is also building its own RF and mmWave components for the modem. Additionally, the company is also working on its own power management chip for the modem.
There have been multiple reports so far claiming that Apple will use its own 5G modem in 2023 iPhones. Qualcomm confirmed that it will only produce about 20 percent of the modem required for the 2023 iPhones. It believes that Apple will continue to use its modem in at least some parts of the world.
Apple currently heavily relies on Qualcomm for the modem used inside its products. By developing its modem, the company would cut down on its reliance on the San Diego chipmaker. And like with all other chips that Apple has developed, this would give the company to further optimize the modem for iPhones as per its requirements and ensure they deliver superior performance and efficiency.
The Cupertino company reached an expensive settlement with Qualcomm in 2019 after years of back-and-forth between the two. The settlement allowed Apple to use Qualcomm’s 5G modem in iPhones as a part of a six-year licensing agreement. The settlement also led Intel to exit the 5G modem business, with the team ultimately being snapped up by Apple.
[Via Nikkei Asia]