TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (formerly with KGI Securities) has predicted that Apple may recruit its sole chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build in-house designed processors based on ARM architecture for use in its car project.

The chip would support either high automation or complete automation of driver’s tasks.

Apple car running custom chips?

The tidbit came in the same report, seen by AppleInsider and MacRumors, in which the revered analyst expressed his belief and reasoning as to why he believed that Apple’s custom ARM-based processor would be popping up in Macs no later than 2021.

Here’s the full quote:

We believe that Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will support either Level 4 (high automation) or Level 5 (full automation). Only TSMC’s 3nm and 5nm processes can meet Level 4 and Level 5 chip requirements.

In August, the analyst said that Apple Car was on track and coming within 5-7 years.

What is Apple Car?

Just to be clear, we don’t know whether Apple is really planning on building cars.

We cannot envision a future in which Apple is cutting steel and smarter people than us have said that so-called Project Titan has been refocused as a software-based autonomous driving project after a myriad of setbacks and executive departures.

We like that idea a lot so if Apple is really going to do something major in terms of autonomous driving, they could integrate those solutions into CarPlay, its existing standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and also act as a controller for an iPhone.

What about CarPlay?

CarPlay is nothing more than a piece of software that draws and manages the CarPlay interface and outputs it to a connected unit via Lightning or wirelessly. But why then would Apple need custom chips to power such a solution?

Two reasons: one, to become fully independent of the phone; and two, so other automakers could integrate CarPlay into their own vehicles (similar to how MFi licensees are required to purchase and use a special encryption chip from Apple to boost security and privacy).

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments down below.

Apple Car concept image courtesy of Top Speed