Apple hopes to ditch Qualcomm by 2024, is developing in-house Bluetooth, WiFi and 5G chip- Technology News, Firstpost


In an effort to reduce its dependency on Qualcomm, Broadcom and other component manufacturers, Apple has been working on creating its own chips for BlueTooth, WiFi and 5G modems for a while. This transition may start as early as 2024, according to a recent Bloomberg article, which also mentions that Apple is working on its own WiFi and Bluetooth chip. This would enable it to drop Qualcomm as well as Broadcom.

Apple hopes to ditch Qualcomm by 2024, is developing in-house Bluetooth, WiFi and 5G chip

Apple has been trying to ditch most of its partners, mainly because of issues with patents, licensing and royalties. Apple may finally ditch Qualcomm and Broadcom in a year or two, and use their own custom Bluetooth and WiFi chip, and 5G modem. Image Credit: AFP

Due to some major differences in licencing, patents, and royalties around modem chips, Apple and Qualcomm were embroiled in a long and heated court spat. Although the cases were settled outside the court, Apple has made it clear that its priority is building its own modem technology for the next generation of iPhone and iPad models, as soon as it can.

To boost these efforts, Apple completed an acquisition of Intel’s modem business in 2019. This gave the company access to engineering talent and a wide collection of standard-essential patents related to cellular technology. Apple will still have to license some patents from Qualcomm and Ericsson, though, even when it switches to in-house modems.

Technical snags and other issues around development have delayed the launch of Apple’s new internal modem from this year until late 2024 or early 2025. 

Apple is apparently working on a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip that might be released as early as 2025 in order to replace Broadcom. It is also developing an upgraded version of this semiconductor that integrates Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular modem technology into a single chip.

Other iPhone components, such as radio-frequency processors and wireless charging elements, are also supplied by Broadcom, although Apple “has been working on modifying those parts as well,” according to Bloomberg.

Although Apple’s ambitions to employ its own modem technology have been widely publicised, this is the first time we’ve heard that it also intends to use an internal Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chip. All of this is consistent with Tim Cook’s view that Apple ought to be in charge of the key elements of the iPhone itself.  

All of this is going to be a major endeavour even for a company like Apple, which has typically relied on its partners for essential components. It will be fascinating to watch how Apple implements these modifications in such a short period of time, given that development of these chips takes years.

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