Intel has a small army working on iPhone 7 LTE modem


Intel is starving for a chunk of iPhone's chip business.
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Intel wants to win part of Apple chip business, and according to a new report, it’s dedicating a small army of engineers towards creating a new LTE modem that could be destined for the iPhone 7

Over 1,000 employees have been assigned to the project to build a 7360 LTE modem chip for the iPhone 7, reports VentureBeat which also claims that if everything goes well, Intel could provide the modem and fabrication for Apple’s system on a chip.

Qualcomm currently supplies all of the LTE modems in the iPhone 6 and 6s. Intel is hoping to ship its modem by the end of 2015. Intel is supposedly pulling out all the stops to win Apple’s account. The company is creating the LTE chip at the same factory in Germany that housed modem maker Infineon, which supplied 3G modems to Apple until 2011, when Intel acquired the company.

VentureBeat’s sources say Apple wants to create a system-on-a-chip that includes the AX processor and LTE modem. Intel is one of the best company positioned to build and fabricate such a system, which would bring advantages like speed and lower power consumption.

Apple engineers have made numerous trips to Munich, Germany to visit with Intel engineers to ensure the 7360 LTE modem will work with the iPhone 7. Apple has also hired a few engineers from the LTE wireless team in Germany, so it could also be likely that Apple’s wanting to strengthen its own in-house chip design team.