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Apple has reportedly hit pause on in-house Wi-Fi chips

The tech giant is still working on a chip that will combine a cellular modem, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

January 28, 2023 / 03:23 PM IST

Apple has reportedly put on hold the development of its in-house Wi-Fi chips, an analyst has said in a blog post.

Ming-Chi Kuo's post comes a few days after Bloomberg reported that the Cupertino, US-based technology giant was developing in-house replacements for Broadcom chips and these would start appearing in devices from late 2024 or 2025.

Apple has relied on American semiconductor maker Broadcom for combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips.

If Apple has indeed stopped work on its chips, it will have to continue to rely on Broadcom, including for iPhone 15 expected later this year.

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Kuo said Apple and its competitors would adopt Wi-Fi 6E/7 chips in the future, and Broadcom would be the "leading beneficiary in this trend."

If Apple decides to put a Wi-Fi 6E chip in the iPhone 15, Broadcom "will be the biggest winner".

Kuo said his findings were based on a "semiconductor industry survey”, which includes the foundry, equipment, packaging and testing.

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Apple's solution was to develop a standalone Wi-Fi chip, which isn't as efficient as the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chips that Broadcom provides, he said.

Since it's harder to design combo chips, it will likely take Apple sometime before they move to in-house hardware.

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Apple would instead redirect the resources to advanced 3nm System-on-a-chip (SoC) designs to power its future devices, such as the recent M2 SoC.

As MacRumors reports, Apple is also working on a 5G modem chip, which will combine a cellular modem, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth into one die but it would take some time.

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first published: Jan 28, 2023 03:12 pm