Apple chip maker will start making custom 5G modems for the iPhone 2023

Qualcomm is slowly but surely coming to a head.
Image: Killian Bell / Cult of Mac

TSMC, Apple’s primary chipmaking partner, will begin production of custom 5G modem chips for the iPhone in 2023, according to a new report, citing four different sources familiar with the plan.

The chips will reportedly be produced by a 4-nanometer manufacturing process and could use their own radio frequencies and millimeter wave components. They will allow Apple to reduce its reliability compared to competing chip maker Qualcomm.

Apple’s own 5G modems will go into production in 2023

Qualcomm currently manufactures cell chips found in today’s iPhone and iPad models. But Apple has been working for several years to replace them with its own modems, designed entirely in-house.

Apple bought Intel’s mobile modem business for $ 1 billion in 2019 to launch that mission and we’ve been waiting for our own 5G modems to appear ever since. Nikkei Asia reports that it will finally enter production in 2023.

“Apple plans to adopt TSMC’s 4-nanometer chip production technology to mass-produce its first internal 5G modem chip,” said four people familiar with the matter, according to a report released Tuesday.

“The iPhone manufacturer is developing its own components for radio frequency and millimeter waves to complete the modem. Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem, ”said the two people.

Qualcomm is preparing to lose Apple orders

The report comes less than a week after the source for Digitimes he also said that Apple will start shipping its first custom modem chips in 2023. It also follows Qualcomm’s prediction that it will lose Apple orders the same year.

During its last earnings call, Qualcomm warned investors that it expects to have only a 20% stake in Apple’s modem business by 2023. However, it believes it will continue to supply some units for certain markets.

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Naveen Kumar

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