Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
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Apple puts modem engineering unit into chip design group

Apple puts modem engineering unit into chip design group

Worldwide wire agency Reuters has filed a report claiming that Apple has taken a decision to add the modem chip engineering unit to its in-house resources and a very senior official has been asked the head the function.

Modems are an indispensable part of phones and other mobile devices, connecting them to wireless data networks. Apple had been using Qualcomm chips but dropped it completely from their iPhones that were released past year. Still, an effort by Apple to develop its own cellular modems "could take years", Reuters reported.

However, Apple declined to comment on this.

Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies is Johny Srouji, and he oversees Apple's A-series chips that power the iPhone and iPad. Previously, Apple's supply chain unit handled that project, the report said. Srouji joined Apple back in 2004 and led development of Apple's first in-house system-on-a-chip, the A4. Technology publication The Information previously reported that Apple was working to develop its own modem chip.

There had been reports that Apple may use Intel's 5G modem chips for its 2020 iPhone lineup.

Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group, said in an interview, 'When you're Apple, everything has to be good.

Though Apple designs and commissions the manufacturing of the iPhone's high-performing A Series chipsets, plenty of other components inside of Apple's phones are bought from other companies.

Rival handset makers Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd already make their own modems. The fact that the team is moving into the group focused on developing in-house components is a strong signal that Apple will not be looking outside its own walls for modems in the future. Qualcomm provides this synergy for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, which uses both Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor and Snapdragon LTE modem.

Apple has said it plans to open an office in San Diego and hire up to 1,000 new employees there over the coming years - further expanding from its current headquarters in Cupertino, California. That saves space and battery life, two important considerations if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products.

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