Apple’s 5G Modem To Be Mass Produced On TSMC’s 3nm Process, Risk Production Starting In Late 2023
Apple is expected to break the shackles of Qualcomm’s exclusivity as it intends to use its first 5G modem in its flagship iPhone range next year. With iPhone 15 supposedly being the last series to only feature Qualcomm’s baseband chips, a new report has surfaced, stating that Apple will employ TSMC’s 3nm technology for its custom solution, with risk production expected to start in late 2023.
Apple’s 5G modem is codenamed ‘Ibiza,’ with risk production happening in the second half of 2023
With Apple seemingly securing all of TSMC’s initial 3nm supply, it makes sense that the company’s first 5G modem will also be mass produced on the same manufacturing process. According to Commercial Times, citing supply chain sources, the report states that risk production is expected to start in the second half of 2023, with wafer output to slowly increase in the first half of next year.
This timeline suggests that the iPhone 15 lineup will continue to use Qualcomm’s 5G modems exclusively, likely taking advantage of the newest Snapdragon X70, and later on, the iPhone 16 family will switch to Apple’s 5G modem. Development work of this custom chip began in 2020, and it is safe to assume that the technology giant ran into its fair share of roadblocks.
Even now, we expect Apple’s custom 5G modem to be mass produced in fewer quantities, meaning that Qualcomm could still capture the majority of shipments for a few more years before the latter’s chips are no longer viable. The ultimate goal of Apple is to be free of several third-party chip providers, including Broadcom, as it explores the possibility of incorporating cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity in a single package.
Naturally, this transition will take several years to reach completion, but for now, we should look forward to 2024. This is the time when Apple will probably provide more details on its 5G modem regarding power savings, better integration with the iPhone, and of course, broader features set in satellite connectivity.Continue Reading