Apple is already working on new Arm-based M-series chips for its first non-Intel laptops. The company has reportedly even started to build its own modems for the iPhone, to replace components from chipmaker Qualcomm.
According to Bloomberg, Johny Srouji, senior vice president of hardware technologies at Apple, briefed Apple employees on the switch to its own mobile modems during a meeting. “This year, we launched the development of our first internal cellular modem, which will allow another key strategic transition,” he reportedly said according to Bloomberg. “Long-term strategic investments like these are essential to allow our products to exist and to ensure that we have a rich reservoir of innovative technologies for our future.”
These comments mark a new stage in Apple’s change of supplier after the launch of its first Macs equipped with Apple Silicon M1 chips. Apple engineers are already working on several successors to the M1 chip, for high-end Macs, which could outperform high-end Intel chips.
Definitely turn the Qualcomm page
Johny Srouji, last July, announced the acquisition by Apple of the modems business for smartphones from Intel, for an amount of one billion dollars. The 2019 iPhones use Intel modems, while the older ones use Qualcomm’s 4G chips. However, the 2020 iPhone 5G lineup uses Qualcomm chips.
The acquisition of Intel’s modem business followed Apple and Qualcomm’s settlement of a long-standing patent litigation, after the iPhone maker accused Qualcomm of using an “abusive licensing model” to generate excessive royalties. Apple also agreed to a six-year license agreement for Qualcomm’s wireless communications patents, which earned the chipmaker about $ 4.7 billion in licensing revenue.
According to Johny Srouji, the mobile modem manufactured by Apple is a new wireless chip designed by the brand. Apple is already designing the W-series of the Apple Watch and the ultra-wideband U1 chip used in the iPhone for precise location information, according to Bloomberg.
For future Macs, Apple is apparently planning 16 power cores and 4 efficiency cores for its next line of chips. Its most powerful Macs are now equipped with 8-core chips. Apple’s high-end desktops are expected to hit the market in late 2021.