Report: Intel has 1,000 employees working on iPhone modem chips

Intel has 1,000 employees working to outfit next year’s iPhone with the company’s 7360 LTE modem chip, Venture Beat reports. All iPhone modems are currently produced by Qualcomm, but sources close to the situation said Apple is considering sourcing LTE modems for the iPhone 7 from both Intel and Qualcomm. During a recent earnings call, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Intel’s 7360 modem will begin showing up in devices next year, and a source said Apple’s iPhone business is a “must-win for Intel,” forcing the company to dedicate a small army of people to winning the Apple account. While Apple hasn’t signed a contract with Intel yet, sources said Apple engineers have been making trips to Munich to work on the new modem chip with Intel engineers.
Apple is also rumored to be interested in using Intel to mass produce an Apple-designed system-on-a-chip that would combine the iPhone’s processor with the LTE modem to deliver better speed and power management, although that development would be years away. While Apple now relies on Samsung and TSMC to produce its processors, sources said Intel’s superior process can produce silicon chips with better density and gate pitch — which could come into play should Apple pursue production of that rumored modem-on-a-processor chip down the road.

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