Apple’s self-developed 5G baseband will be manufactured using TSMC’s 4nm process
Previously, there were reports that Apple had started the research and development of its first 5G modem in 2020 to change the current monopolistic supply of Qualcomm. It is estimated that only 20% of Apple’s iPhone models shipped in 2023 will use Qualcomm’s 5G modem, which means that Apple will soon mass-produce customized baseband chips.
It is said that in addition to developing its own components and corresponding power management chips, Apple may also add millimeter waves to its first 5G modem to better meet the needs of the market. At the same time, TSMC’s 5nm process may be used to produce 5G modems. However, according to the Nikkei Asia report, Apple may try to use the more advanced TSMC 4nm process to produce 5G modems, which can effectively improve the performance of the chip.
Some people may ask why Apple does not directly use TSMC’s 3nm process. According to the plan, the process will enter mass production in the second half of 2022. In addition to TSMC may encounter difficulties in the mass production stage, causing supply problems, the cost is also an important factor that Apple needs to consider. Taking into account the number of Apple iPhone models, even if 5G modems are successfully developed, Apple may not be fully self-sufficient for a certain period of time. Qualcomm’s 5G modems are needed to maintain a stable supply.