Apple Has Over 1000 Engineers Working on a Modem as Confidence in Intel Weakens [Report]

Apple Has Over 1000 Engineers Working on a Modem as Confidence in Intel Weakens [Report]

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Apple has over 1000 engineers working to develop a modem chip which will be used in future generation iPhones, according to a new report from Fast Company. Apple has purportedly ramped up its efforts to design a chip as its relationship with Intel has become increasingly stormy.

Although Intel is expected to supply modems for Apple's new smartphones, recent reports have suggested that the company's 5G chips are behind schedule.

The chip giant was to be the sole provider of the 5G modems in the 2020 iPhones, too, but it has been missing deadlines for the development of the chip, the XMM 8160 5G modem, a source with knowledge of the situation says.

Intel reportedly needs to deliver sample parts to Apple by early this summer and then a finished modem design early next year; however, Fast Company's source says "Apple has lost confidence in Intel to deliver the chip".

To avoid continued dependence on third party suppliers for such an important component, Apple appears to be working on its own chip.

The company now has a team of between 1000 and 1200 engineers working on the modem chips for future iPhones, our source says. Apple has recruited RF engineers from both Intel and Qualcomm to work in a new development facility in San Diego, our source says, and the development operation has been ramping up quickly. It is possible that future iPhone modem chips could be designed at that facility by Apple employees, and then fabricated by TSMC or Samsung. But that effort is likely about iPhones for 2021 and beyond.

Apple is unlikely to strike a deal with Qualcomm for modems as its fierce legal battle with the company drags on. Although Apple has had talks with Samsung and Mediatek, sources say that neither is in the position to supply modems for a 5G iPhone next year. This suggests that if Intel doesn't come through, we won't see an 5G iPhone until 2021.

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Apple Has Over 1000 Engineers Working on a Modem as Confidence in Intel Weakens [Report]

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