Apple’s awesome chip team is now designing iPhone modems

Apple Moves Its Modem Engineering Efforts In-House, Led by Chip Guru Johny Srouji

Apple Moves Its Modem Engineering Efforts In-House, Led by Chip Guru Johny Srouji

Citing unnamed people familiar with the move, Reuters reports that Apple's efforts to build its own modem chips is now being handled by its hardware technology division. Apple used Qualcomm's modem chips, but has gradually switched to Intel chips since 2016 and abandoned Qualcomm chips in the iPhone released past year.

According to some sources, Johny Srouji, senior vice president of Hardware Technologies at Apple, took over the company's modem chip design in January. The organizational move has not been previously reported.

Before this move, Apple's modem work ultimately fell under Dan Riccio, who ran engineering for iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple declined to comment. Technology publication The Information previously reported that Apple was working to develop its own modem chip. In doing so, the company may hope to leave behind Intel modems in its mobile devices, which Apple has used since a recent falling out with Qualcomm.

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Linley Gwennap, president of chip industry research firm The Linley Group, said in an interview, 'When you're Apple, everything has to be good. "There's no room for some substandard component in that phone". Apple's timeline for coming out with its own modem chip could put it behind the initial launch of 5G phones, though it's been widely expected that the 2019 iPhones would lack 5G connectivity.

Now, Apple is likely to drop third-party cellular chips altogether in favor of its own, designed in-house by the same team that develops its impressive A-series chipsets. Late a year ago, job listings indicated that Apple was looking to hire a lot of cellular modem systems architects, fueling rumors that Apple would start designing its own iPhone modems.

Apple may also benefit by combining its modem chips with its processor chips, as Samsung, Huawei and most other phone makers do. That saves space and battery life, two important considerations if Apple introduces augmented reality features into future products.

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