Apple will Reportedly use AiP Modules with important mmWave Technology from ASE for top end 5G iPhones and iPads in Q4
On January 6th Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple may Delay 5G iPhones a few Months due to a decision to Adopt its own In-House Antenna-in-Package (AiP) modules." CNBC's source, Susquehanna, noted that "The delay in the launch, stems from Apple’s decision to in-source Antenna-in-Package (AiP) modules instead of purchasing from a 3rd party." Today, Digitimes full posted report states that Apple has found a supplier for the needed 5G antenna that includes millimeter wave (mmWave) technology.
The report specifically states that Taiwan's backend leader Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) has reportedly broken into the supply chain for Apple's mmWave 5G iPhones and 5G iPads with its substrate-based FC_AiP (flip chip antenna-in-package) technology.
Industry sources said that one mmWave 5G iPhone will require 3-4 AiP modules, which may adopt the 1+2 or 2+2 format. The former will include one InFO_AiP module to be processed by TSMC already contracted to fabricate mmWave 5G iPhone APs and two FC_AIP modules by ASE, while the latter will equally cover both modules, the sources said.
InFO_AiP technology can work well in making slimmer modules but the unit cost is 2-3 times that for FC_AiP process, the sources said, adding that Apple may determine which format to adopt on cost concern.
Supply chain sources confirmed that mmWave 5G iPads will be among Apple's new product roadmaps, and one such iPad will be fitted with at least one more AiP modules due to its larger area size than iPhone. The sources said mmWave 5G iPads are likely to adopt all cost-effective FC_AiP modules.
Accordingly, ASE may see its FC_AiP capacity running at high utilization in 2020, especially after mmWave 5G iPhones or even 5G iPads are rolled out in the second half of the year, the sources said.