iPhone 5G Modem to Be Made on TSMC’s 3nm Process: Report
Apple could switch to its own 5G modems with future iPhone models. Now a new report states that the Cupertino-based tech giant will employ the 3nm technology by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its in-house 5G modems. The TSMC is expected to start the trial production in the second half of this year. The iPhone 16 series, which is expected to be unveiled in 2024 could come equipped with the company’s own iPhone 5G modem chips. The iPhone 15 models could use Qualcomm’s 5G modems exclusively.
The iPhone maker has been trying to develop its own 5G modems in recent years to reduce dependence on Qualcomm as a supplier. As per a new report by Commercial Times, Apple’s in-house 5G modem chip will be built based on TSMC’s 3nm technology. The supporting RFIC could use the TSMC’s 7nm process node. The chipmaker is expected to begin trial production for Apple in the second half of this year and it could increase the production volume gradually in the first half of 2024.
Apple was earlier speculated to use its in-house 5G modem chips with the iPhone 15 series. This timeline suggests that this year’s lineup could be powered by Qualcomm’s 5G modems. The current iPhone 14 models pack a Snapdragon X65 5G modem chip.
The iPhone 15 series is expected to come equipped with the Snapdragon X70 5G modem chip. Apple’s own 5G modem chips are expected to debut in iPhone 16 series.
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier said that Qualcomm will continue to remain as an exclusive supplier of the iPhone 5G modem chips with a 100 percent supply share. Qualcomm was earlier expected to grab only 20 percent of iPhone modem orders. The modem was said to be designed and tested at 5nm before moving to mass production in 2023 at 4nm. Apple is expected to reveal more details on its 5G modem in the coming days.
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