Apple’s 5G modem will be based on TSMC’s 3nm node

Apple's 5G modem will be based on TSMC's 3nm node

Apple currently uses Qualcomm’s 5G modems in its products, and it plans to develop its own custom modem and use it in the iPhone in the following years, eliminating the need for Qualcomm’s modems. It is unlikely that this custom modem will make it to the iPhone 15 series phones, and the iPhone 15 series will most likely be the last Apple phones to use a Qualcomm modem. A report has recently been published according to which Apple TSMC’s 3nm processor It will be used for its own modem and its production will begin in late 2023.

Apple’s custom 5G modem

As we know, Apple has purchased all of TSMC’s initial 3nm node inventory and its production capacity, and it is logical to develop its first 5G modem based on this node. According to a report recently published by Commercial Times, the production of this modem will begin in the second half of 2023, and with the increase in the production capacity of the 3 nm node in the first half of 2024, this modem will also enter the mass production phase.

With this situation, the iPhone 15 phones will most likely still be equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon X70 modem; But iPhone 15 is the last series that uses this modem. The iPhone 16 family phones are supposed to be the first iPhone series to use Apple’s exclusive 5G modem. The development of this custom modem started in 2020 and the fact that it has lasted so far shows that its development process was not easy for the Cupertino giant.

Even if the development of this modem is completed, we expect that its mass production will be done on a smaller scale than Apple’s annual needs, and Qualcomm may still provide part of Apple’s demand for some time. Apple’s goal is to supply its own chips as much as possible and not depend on other companies. That’s why the company plans to develop an integrated module for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data so that it is no longer dependent on Broadcom.

Naturally, this decision by Apple will take a few years to fully implement, but we are currently looking at 2024. During this period, Apple will publish more information about my 5G modem and will say more about the optimal energy consumption, better integration with the iPhone, and of course its capabilities in satellite communications.

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