Apparently Apple has now shifted its modem silo from the supply chain unit to the hardware design one.
The move all but confirms that Apple will develop its own cellular chips for future iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models after years of sourcing them from Intel and Qualcomm. But with Apple now working on its in-house team, we might see Apple's own 5G modem chips in iPhones sooner or later.
Apple, Qualcomm and Intel either did not respond to a request for comment on this story from Light Reading, or declined to comment.
Srouji has been with Apple since 2008, when he joined to head up development of Apple's first in-house processor, the A4, his biography on Apple.com reads. 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.
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).
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"I believe that Apple is expanding their presence in San Diego to primarily bolster their wireless capabilities, especially their efforts to build their own modems".
"When you're Apple, everything has to be good", said Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group. There's no room for some substandard component in that phone'.
Apple's investment in modem chips comes as carriers and other phone makers are rolling out devices for the next generation of faster wireless networks known as 5G.
Qualcomm's 5G modem will equip several Android smartphones this year, with rivals Samsung and Huawei manufacturing their own smartphone modems.
Then there's also the idea that Apple could speed up its already speedy handsets by more closely integrating the designs of its in-house A Series chips with an in-house modem chip. The modem chips will also help Apple's processor chips, saving battery life and space.
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