iPhone 5G Modem to Be Made on TSMC’s 3nm Process: Report

Apple was earlier speculated to use its in-house 5G modem chips with the iPhone 15 series.

iPhone 5G Modem to Be Made on TSMC’s 3nm Process: Report

Photo Credit: Apple

iPhone 14 models pack a Snapdragon X65 5G modem chip

  • iPhone 15 is expected to launch in the second half of 2023
  • Qualcomm could retain its supply share for iPhone 5G chips
  • SMC is making some of the most advanced chips for Apple

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.

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company's latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Nithya P Nair
Nithya P Nair is a journalist with more than five years of experience in digital journalism. She specialises in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking in Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations. More
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