updated 01:05 pm EDT, Fri October 1, 2010
Apple thought to be snubbing Infineon, Broadcom
Qualcomm will likely subcontract with TSMC -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. -- in order to produce 3G chipsets for next-generation iPhones and iPads, industry executives claim. TSMC uses a 65nm manufacturing process, one which analysts suggest should be enough to satisfy Apple's demands. TSMC itself will neither confirm or deny any plans, except to say that it's currently inundated with orders.
Apple has traditionally relied on Infineon to produce cellular chipsets for iPhones, including the iPhone 4, making the reported switch to Qualcomm significant. The decision may be linked to a need to produce CDMA iPhones in addition to current GSM models. At the same time, however, Infineon's wireless group was recently bought out by Intel, which has a stake in promoting its own Atom CPUs for mobile devices over the ARM-based processors used in products like Apple's.
CENS notes that if reports are accurate, Apple has abandoned Broadcom as a baseband supplier for iPads. A shift of both Infineon and Broadcom's contracts to Qualcomm could have a major impact on suppliers, and potentially on Apple production as well. Any difficulties with Qualcomm and/or TSMC could hurt the rollout of multiple product lines.