Friday, Jan 27, 2023, 23:32 Hardware

Report: An Extensive Change In Plans At Apple – Projects Ended – All Efforts On New Processors

For years now, Apple has been working on achieving independence from Qualcomm – the largest current provider of cellular chips in the smartphone sector. Last fall, however, reports began to leak that Apple had failed at developing releasable in-house cellular chips within its planned timeframe. Cupertino would also need much more time, according to the reports. The pursued solution couldn't be prepared for a market release, in part due to the minefield of patents surrounding the necessary technologies. Ironically enough, these reports were later confirmed by Qualcomm after the release of a financial report revealing a return-customer in 2023 – Apple. The financial report also revealed that Apple would remain just as reliant on Qualcomm as in previous years, per projected order numbers.

Cellular Chip – Development Halted
At the beginning of January, new reports stated that Apple would continue to pursue its previous target – independence from Qualcomm. However, the Mac-manufacturer would now do so with the additional goal of independence from Broadcom. The latter currently supplies Apple's Wi-Fi components. Such a combined cellular/Wi-Fi chip would be envisioned for 2024, or 2025. Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his surprisingly accurate crystal ball for all things Apple, has new information from sources that contradicts these previous reports. Accordingly, Apple has scrapped plans for the described multifunction cellular/Wi-Fi chip to head full steam ahead for an entirely different undertaking.



All Energy Now Focused On 3-nm Apple Chips
The switch to the 3-nm process, along with many changes to chip design, is Apple's likely next significant step for its in-house processors. Great strides are to be expected in terms of both efficiency and performance, and these are the current, all-important priorities at Apple right now – according to Kuo. A new cellular chip would be a nice improvement, but Cupertino hopes to differentiate itself from its competitors. 3-nm chips represent the opportunity for Apple to clearly do so in one swift blow. Additionally, the development of an entirely new chip type represents a risk for Apple – whilst the probability of success for the development of a 3-nm processor is much higher.

3-nm Transition Would Have Massive Implications
Now that all of Apple's resources are concentrated on the transition to chip-architecture based on the 3-nm production process, one can confidently predict that Apple will begin the mass production phase in 2023. All product-categories would profit from the move. The Mac would witness a significant jump forwards in performance, whilst iPhones would receive longer battery times. TSMC's roadmap from years ago already documented a 30% increase in performance for 3-nm chips operating under the same energy consumption as 5-nm chips. Our German partner –, recently reported that Mark Liu, a high ranking manager at TSMC, had even mentioned a 35% increase in performance.

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