4G LTE Chip Manufacturers Ramp Up Production For Apple’s Next iPhone

Chip manufacturers have ramped up the production of 4G & Wi-Fi chips and have started stocking them for Apple’s next-generation iPhone, reports DigiTimes. Vendors including Qualcomm, Broadcom, STMicroelectronics, NXP, Texas Instruments (TI) and OmniVision are manufacturing 4G LTE chips using a 28nm process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in anticipation of iPhone 5 which is set to hit the market in the second half of 2012.

According to the source:

Qualcomm alone needs about 10,000 28nm 12-inch wafers, or one-third of 28nm capacity at TSMC, for the production of 4G chips for iPhones, not mention the additional supply of 4G chips to other clients, revealed the sources.

Nvidia also takes up about 10,000 units of 28nm wafer capacity at TSMC, leaving Broadcom, TI, Altera, Xilinx and other chipmakers to share the remaining 28nm wafers, said the sources, adding that it would be difficult for TSMC to meet market demand for 28nm process until it ramps up its 28nm wafer starts to 50,000 units a month around the fourth quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, STMicroelectronics is ramping up its output of MEMS devices, while NXP and TI are also building up their inventory of analog ICs for iPhones.

This anticipatory move by international chipmakers will also result in roaring sales of IC products during the third quarter of 2012, notes the source.