Apple Puts Modem Engineering Unit Into Chip Design Group

Apple Puts Modem Engineering Unit Into Chip Design Group

Apple Puts Modem Engineering Unit Into Chip Design Group

After Apple's relationship with former modem supplier Qualcomm fell apart, Apple began exclusively using Intel's cellular modems starting with the 2018 iPhone lineup. Previously, Apple's supply chain unit handled that project, the report said.

A new report from Reuters claims that Apple has now shifted its engineering team behind these modems to the company's primary hardware technology group responsible for A-Series and S-Series chip development. There's no room for some substandard component in that phone'. But it would still be cheaper for Apple than buying third-party modems, which can cost as much as $15 to $20 per device or anywhere between $3 billion and $4 billion per year for the iPhone. Samsung and LG now build displays for the iPhone, for instance. According to reports, the company has asked Johny Srouji, its VP hardware technologies, to oversee the modem design. Apple's timeline for coming out with its own modem chip could put it behind the initial launch of 5G phones, though it's been widely expected that the 2019 iPhones would lack 5G connectivity. Making a competitive modem is a much trickier proposition, however, which is why Apple continued to pay Qualcomm for the job however deeply it resented doing so. Apple also said that it plans to build its own team in the local area.

Apple 5G modem

Thus, Apple's San Diego office could well stand as an attempt by the company to nab engineering talent from Qualcomm (the company that Apple previously purchased modems from) and Intel (the company Apple is now purchasing modems from). Beyond the disputes between it and Qualcomm, Apple believes it can save money in the long-run by taking greater control over the design and manufacturing process of the chip. Apple has been selling around 200 million iPhones every year. "5G will be pervasive and the company realizes that modems will eventually be in all of their products, so it makes sense to them as a technology that can be amortized across many product lines". It says that Apple could benefit by combining its modem chips with the processor to save space and improve battery life, which would be "two important considerations if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products".

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