According to Nikkei Asia, the move is primarily aimed at reducing Apple’s reliance on Qualcomm for 5G cellular chips. The chip will integrate components designed by Apple for radio frequency and millimeter wave.
Apple has also started working on a power management chip designed specifically to work with this modem, however, mass production of the Apple 5G modem will begin by 2023. While Apple has been designing its own systems on chips (SoCs) for more than a decade now, the company has typically shunned Manufacture of cellular modems.
The current crop of iPhones and iPads use 5G-capable modems sourced from Qualcomm – they were provided as part of a six-year deal the two companies signed in 2019. While Apple’s agreement with Qualcomm won’t expire until 2025, Apple has already laid the groundwork for To ensure that his internal modem will be ready in the next few years.
As part of its long-term plan, Apple first settled all patent disputes with Qualcomm and signed the aforementioned long-term deal, and months later it also acquired the beleaguered smartphone modem business from Intel for $1 billion, the latter giving it access to a goldmine From 17,000 patents related to wireless technology, these patents include protocols critical to cellular standards and modem architecture.
Aside from the initial development costs, the advantages of moving to internal chips are numerous. Aside from giving Apple more control over hardware integration, it would drastically lower manufacturing cost, while Apple is unlikely to pass these savings on to consumers. However, tighter hardware integration, in the case of Apple, has typically resulted in massive performance gains, and whether this will be the case with Apple’s internal modems as well remains to be seen.
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