“Intel now has a thousand people or more working to outfit a 2016 iPhone with its lauded 7360 LTE modem chip, sources say,” Mark Sullivan reports for VentureBeat. “If all goes well, Intel may end up providing both the modem and the fabrication for a new Apple system on a chip.”
“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,” Sullivan reports. “Apple may dual-source the LTE modems in its new iPhones from both Intel and Qualcomm. Today, Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip is baked into all iPhone modems.”
“Sources with knowledge of the situation say that Apple eventually would like to create a system-on-a-chip (SOC) that includes both the phone’s Ax processor and the LTE modem chip. A system-on-a-chip design could deliver significant returns in improved speed and better power management. 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,” Sullivan reports. “While the SOC would be created from top to bottom by Apple’s formidable chip designers, Intel would get the job of fabricating the SOC using its 14-nanometer process.
“Samsung and TSMC, which currently share the fabrication of the iPhone’s A9 chip, also have 14-nanometer processes, but those foundries are said to compromise by making the interfaces with a 20-nanometer process,” Sullivan reports. “Intel’s foundry, by contrast, uses a 14-nanometer process ‘from front to back,’ as our source said.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Anything that helps slavish copier Samsung from the iPhone equation is a Good Thing™.