Nikkei Asia, Telecom News, ET Telecom

Apple has selected Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the Taiwanese chip giant to manufacture iPhone 5G modems from 2023 as the iPhone maker seeks to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, Nikkei Asia reported.

Apple plans to use TSMC’s 4-nanometer production technology to mass-produce its first in-house 5G modem chip, and alongside the high-end smartphone maker, it is also developing its own radio frequency (RF) and wave components. millimeter to be coupled with the modem.

Apple is working on an internal power management chip specifically for the modem, according to the report.

Qualcomm modems and related components power the latest series of iPhones.

Meanwhile, Apple has been trying for years to reduce its reliance on the San Diego-based chipmaker, and Qualcomm recently said it plans to supply just 20% of Apple’s modems in 2023.

Qualcomm is also preparing its own chips to support Apple’s M-series processors, its chief technology officer (CTO) Jim Thompson recently said. The chipmaker plans to create a next-generation ARM-based system on a chip (SoC) that will set the benchmark for PC performance.

Nikkei said the diversification plan would help Apple save money on the money it pays Qualcomm, in addition to integrating TSMC’s chip into its internal mobile chip, and ultimately allow the U.S. technology to have better control over its hardware integration.

At an investor conference in New York City, Qualcomm executives said they plan to supply just 20% of Apple’s modem chips by the time the iPhone launches in 2023. CFO Qualcomm’s Akash Palkhiwala expects Apple to represent a low “single-digit” percentage. of the company’s chip sales by the end of fiscal 2024.

It would also reduce the advantage Qualcomm enjoys in the segment with rivals MediaTek and China’s Huawei Technologies. In addition, TSMC has been a crucial partner of Apple and is the sole producer of iPhone processors and Mac M1 processors.

The Taiwanese company also has more than 100 engineers in Cupertino, California, to support Apple’s chip development aspirations.

Citing sources, the post mentioned that Apple was using TSMC’s 5nm technology to test the production of the new iPhone 5G modem chip.

The 4nm technology will be used for mass production, but commercialization will not be achieved until 2023, in part because carriers are expected to check and test the modem’s chips, according to the report.

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm plans to announce the next generation of Arm-based chips for Windows PCs that could compete with Apple’s M-series processors.

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