TSMC to Build Apple’s 5G Modem on 3nm Process

TSMC has been a major supplier of Apple for its proprietary chipsets. And now, the company is apparently planning on having its new 5G model being built on TSMC’s 3nm process as well. Here are all the details.

For those unaware, the Cupertino-based giant has been placing orders for its chips that power its PCs and mobile devices with the world’s largest contract chipmaker for some time now. TSMC’s latest advancement in semiconductor manufacturing has allowed it to build chips on 3nm process nodes. The smaller the processor nodes, the more powerful and energy-efficient are the chips that are built using this process.


So for its next generation of chips, Apple will likely account for a large portion of TSMC’s 3nm process capacity in 2023. One part of its orders would likely be for its in-house 5G modem that is built using the latest semiconductor technology from TSMC. The same process is expected to also power its next-gen A series and M series processors. According to a Commercial Times report, the supply chain sources have revealed that risk production of the Apple 5G modem will begin in the second half of this year.

Risk production is basically the stage where the foundry builds chips and works out any issues to raise the yields. Following this phase, the volume production begins where wafer output usually rises slowly in the first half of next year. In other words, it appears that the iPhone maker will have to rely on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 5G modem chips.

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