Apple’s Next iPhone May Have Intel Inside
Intel is looking to get a piece of Apple’s booming sales by taking a version of its cellular modem into Apple’s next iPhone, likely to be called iPhone 7, stated reports by VentureBeat. The partnership is yet to be official, though. As of now the two companies have exchanged words and work is already underway. So, you can expect Apple or Intel to come out with an official statement soon.
Apparently, Intel has an ‘army’ already working on the project. Around 1000 people are working to supply Apple’s next iPhone with Intel’s next-gen 7360 LTE modem. VentureBeats also reported that Apple will be sending some of its own crew to work with Intel. Meanwhile, Intel looks to take out Qualcomm from the top position of modem suppliers for Apple.
Currently, Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip has been the modem for Apple’s handset. A few years ago, Infineon used to supply the iPhone with 3G modems before Intel bought the German semiconductor company. Apple then moved to Qualcomm and made it its modem supplier. Like with its A9 chip, Apple may dual-source the LTE modems from both Intel and Qualcomm if Intel comes through. However, nothing has been officially stated on this matter.
The current task ahead for Intel is to scale its 10-nanometer process so that it can work with Apple’s A9 chipset. This is one of the reasons that Apple has been attracted to Intel. Intel has both 14-nanometer and a new 10-nanometer process in the works. A 10-nanometer could yield faster and smaller processors. Apple is currently dual-sourcing its A9 chip from Samsung, which employs 14-nanometer process, and TSMC which uses 16-nanometer process.
The end goal for Apple is to have an SoC that is capable of holding both the processor and LTE modem on a single, small, fast and power efficient component and the fabrication of this can fall into Intel’s hands if all goes well. This is a “must-win for Intel” as it has been struggling to keep pace with Qualcomm, a source told VentureBeat.