Apple plans to partner with TSMC for 5G modem chip

CALIFORNIA: Apple is going to form a partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.  in order to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm. The company wants to use TSMC’s  4-nanometer chip production technology to mass produce its first in-house 5G modem chip by 2023, reports Nikkei Asia. 

People familiar with the matter say, “Apple is developing its own radio frequency and millimeter wave components to complement the modem.”

They further said  “Apple is also working on its own power management chip specifically for the modem” as reported by Nikkei Asia.

Recently, Qualcomm  (semiconductors producing American company)  confirmed that its share of iPhone modem orders will drop to about 20% in 2023.

The iPhone maker wants to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm and gain more control over vital semiconductor components of its iPhone since all these vital components have been provided by Qualcomm for years now.

Along with saving money on fees it currently pays to Qualcomm, Apple will be able to integrate TSMC’s chip with its in-house mobile processor thereby boosting the chip’s efficiency, said multiple sources via Nikkei Asia.

Modem chips are crucial components that determine call quality and data transmission speeds. Qualcomm dominated the chip market by building a large patent wall around the technology.

Apple is using TSMC’s 5-nm chip production to design and test-produce the new 5G iPhone modem chip. It will then use the even more advanced 4-nm technology for mass production, stated the report.

Since it will take time for global carriers to verify and test the new modem chips, Commercialization will not happen till 2023.

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