Apple is preparing for next year’s iPhone 7 right now, with rumours suggesting that TSMC may be taking over from Samsung and supplying all of the A10 processors for the device. Now, we are also hearing that Intel is apparently working hard to beat Qualcomm for Apple’s business this year with its own LTE chip. According to a new report, Intel has around a thousand employees working on the 7360 LTE chip to ensure it will beat Qualcomm’s 9X45 LTE chip.
The report comes from VentureBeat and right now, Qualcomm’s LTE chip is featured inside the iPhone 6S, though the chip maker may have some stiff competition if it wants to get in the iPhone 7.
One source mentioned to the news site that this deal with Apple is a “must-win for Intel”, which is why the company is throwing so many people at the project. Other sources familiar with the matter have said that Apple wants to eventually include the LTE modem chip on the A-series SoC, rather than using a separate module.
The idea is that Apple would design and brand the SoC, but license the LTE technology from Intel, who would then in turn start making money from iPhone sales. Apple is also apparently interested in Intel’s 10 nanometer manufacturing process, which would allow for even smaller chips to be created. However, this technology is still a year or two away from being ready for mass production, right now the current A9 chip is built using the 14nm process.
The full report goes in to a bit more detail but from the sounds of it, Intel is trying pretty hard to gain Apple’s business.
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KitGuru Says: Apple are a huge company and the iPhones consistently generate huge amounts of profit year on year, so it makes sense that Intel would be interested in gaining some of that business. Right now, Qualcomm’s LTE chip can be found in the iPhone 6S but it sounds like Intel may have even more to offer Apple later down the line with its 10nm process technology.