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Apple's main chip manufacturing partner TSMC will beginning producing Apple's first in-house 5G modem chips for the iPhone in 2023, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. The move, which has been under development for several years and enhanced by Apple's 2019 acquisition of the majority of Intel's modem business, will allow Apple to shift away from Qualcomm as a supplier for the important chips that support cellular connectivity.

Apple-5G-Modem-Feature-Triad.jpg
Apple plans to adopt TSMC's 4-nanometer chip production technology to mass produce its first in-house 5G modem chip, four people familiar with the matter said, adding that the iPhone maker is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem. Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem, two people briefed on the matter said.
The report lines up with previous rumors of Apple launching its own modem as part of the 2023 iPhone lineup, and Qualcomm last week revealed that it is using a planning assumption that it will only have a 20% share of modem production for the 2023 iPhone. Qualcomm believes that Apple will be using its own modem solution in most regions around the world, but will continue to rely on Qualcomm for certain markets, at least initially.

Today's report from Nikkei says that Apple and TSMC are currently trialing production of Apple's in-house modem designs using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, but that they will shift to the more advanced 4-nanometer technology for mass production. TSMC is already aiming to use 4-nanometer technology for the main A-series chip in the 2022 iPhone lineup, with 2022 iPads and 2023 iPhones moving to 3-nanometer technology for their A-series chips.

Article Link: TSMC to Begin Producing Apple-Designed 5G Modems for iPhones in 2023
 

Seoras

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2007
675
1,649
Scotsman in New Zealand
Apple going all in house is awesome but I think this is a double edged sword too. When you have no suppliers you have no friends. Other than Foxconn and TSMC who does Apple need anymore?
We've already seen Intel's vicious attack on Apple since x86 got dumped for M1.
Also having that much independence also acts as a block to entry for competitors.
Can you imagine a start up trying to take on Apple with decades of silicon and software development under their belt?
Expect more hammering from the EU and others trying to regulate them and dis-empower them as much as possible.
 

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
7,882
13,479
Apple is NOT going to go all in on all iPhone to start out with, I suspect iPad, Mac and maybe a new SE iPhone ... too much at risk ... and they would have to best QCOM

Qualcomm's 80/20 prediction says otherwise. Apple has all the time in the world to beta test. They wouldn't have picked 2023 to launch unless they're good and ready.
 

Art Mark

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2010
414
772
Oregon
Apple going all in house is awesome but I think this is a double edged sword too. When you have no suppliers you have no friends. Other than Foxconn and TSMC who does Apple need anymore?
We've already seen Intel's vicious attack on Apple since x86 got dumped for M1.
Also having that much independence also acts as a block to entry for competitors.
Can you imagine a start up trying to take on Apple with decades of silicon and software development under their belt?
Expect more hammering from the EU and others trying to regulate them and dis-empower them as much as possible.
Is there a law or expectation that a business needs 'friends'? Apple has PLENTY of suppliers. More than almost any company outside of tech, that is for sure. They aren't mining, smelting and pressing chips, manufacturing boxes, ETC. I'm not sure what a 'friend' buys you in the case of focusing on important issues that your 'friends' don't think are important. Like POWER CONSUMPTION. Steve Jobs famously had a meeting with Intel and explained they were focused on lowering power consumption and Intel said, if we believe the coverage of said meeting, that it wasn't a big deal for them, they make desktops. I think a huge part of this desire for modem chips is power consumption and the 'smarts' for the chip to work flawlessly with the OS to limit power drain. Qualcomm really isn't going to focus on that until THEY want to. Apple would rather it be a focus now. So I think your set-up, that a company needs 'friends' is a tad misleading, and ignores the literally thousands of suppliers Apple does use. It's like saying Disney should outsource Star Wars films. No, they MAKE Star Wars films (for better and worse) but use suppliers to manufacture and create the final product.
 

haunebu

macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2004
169
615
California
The Intel modem team, aka the Junior Varsity squad of modem development, will be back in the 2023 iPhones... all so Tim Cook can save a few bucks. Apple's customers, as usual, are the ones who suffer with inevitably worse power consumption and poor connectivity. It's like the iPhone 7 all over again...


And...

 
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MedRed

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2007
277
934
The Intel modem team, aka the Junior Varsity squad of modem development, will be back in the 2023 iPhones... all so Tim Cook can save a few bucks. Apple's customers, as usual, are the ones who suffer with inevitably worse power consumption and poor connectivity. It's like the iPhone 7 all over again...


And...

It will have been 7years since the iPhone X when this launches. That's forever ago in technology years. Intel's assets + Apple's continued development + TSMC latest process. Any gap in performance between Qualcomm's offerings and the upcoming modem, if it exists, will more than likely not be enough for users to notice.
 

kirk.vino

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2017
499
508
The Intel modem team, aka the Junior Varsity squad of modem development, will be back in the 2023 iPhones... all so Tim Cook can save a few bucks. Apple's customers, as usual, are the ones who suffer with inevitably worse power consumption and poor connectivity. It's like the iPhone 7 all over again...


And...

That would be an irrelevant comparison: the Intel modem was already sinficantly improved in the iPhone 11. On top of that, this transition is not going to happen for another 2 years. You’re looking at many years of R&D after those aforementioned old models.
 

gene731

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
337
375
Apple going all in house is awesome but I think this is a double edged sword too. When you have no suppliers you have no friends. Other than Foxconn and TSMC who does Apple need anymore?
We've already seen Intel's vicious attack on Apple since x86 got dumped for M1.
Also having that much independence also acts as a block to entry for competitors.
Can you imagine a start up trying to take on Apple with decades of silicon and software development under their belt?
Expect more hammering from the EU and others trying to regulate them and dis-empower them as much as possible.
I really think Intel screwed the pooch on their “vicious ads”. One thing I am sure Apple is a minuscule Intel user compared way to Dell HP and all of the other PC makers. Those ads fell on deaf ears anyway because why attack a company if your aim is to try winning them back. They should have for sure focused on AMD instead of Apple SoC.
I do however hope to see Apple hit it out of the ballpark and it doesn’t turn in to another fiasco like intel modems were. They did their job with Apple SoC as I am a proud owner of a new 16” MBP with Apple SoC.
 

huge_apple_fangirl

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2019
308
564
Not a surprise. Well, this confirms what Qualcomm was saying about the first Apple-designed modem appearing in 2023. It will be really interesting to see how this modem performs, considering Qualcomm’s stranglehold over the cellular modem business in the US. With Apple having very significant market share, this could really shake up the market and bring some much-needed competition (unlike the Intel disaster).
 
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