Sources close to the matter say Intel is pulling out the stops to supply the modems for at least some of the iPhones Apple manufactures in 2016. This phone will likely be the iPhone 7. VentureBeat was the first to report on the two companies’ work together, and more pieces are falling into place as the project progresses and grows.
It's believed that Apple may dual source the LTE modems for the new iPhone from Intel and Qualcomm. Currently, Apple uses Qualcomm's 9x45 LTE chips. Although Apple has yet to officially sign off on Intel as a supplier, sources believe a deal will happen if Intel continues to hit project milestones. “This is a must-win for Intel,” one source told VentureBeat.
Notably, Intel is likely eyeing a bigger end game here. Apple eventually wants to create an SOC that includes both the Ax processor and the LTE modem, according to sources. This could bring both speed and power management improvements.
Apple would design the SOC, which would carry an Apple brand name, and would license the LTE modem intellectual property from Intel for the SOC, one source said.
This would be a sensible arrangement, in light of the fact that Intel hasn’t excelled at SOC design in the past, and that Apple does vertical integration very well. Apple’s skill in this was most recently seen in the integration of its M9 graphics chip with its powerful A9 chip for the iPhone 6s.
While Apple would design the SOC, Intel could get the job to fabricate it using its 14-nm process. Intel's process can reportedly create silicon chips with superior density and gate pitch to its competitors and its already developing a 10-nm process.
More details on the project can be found at the link below...