Intel has 1,000 employees reportedly working on an LTE modem chip for the iPhone 7


Intel and Apple have begun collaborating a bit more lately, especially in terms of getting Apple products in more enterprise-heavy locations and work areas.

But that partnership has also been rumored to extend into chips. One such rumor cropped up back in August of this year, outlining that Apple had plans to include an Intel-built LTE modem chip in an iPhone, but those dreams wouldn’t be fulfilled with the Qualcomm-equipped iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. So, eyes forward, a new report has surfaced from VentureBeat, which provides a few more details regarding an Intel chip inside an Apple smartphone.

According to the report, Intel has upwards of 1,000 employees currently working on an LTE modem chip for the next-generation iPhone, which is rumored to be the iPhone 7. If this is indeed true, it would mean a major departure for Apple, which traditionally uses Qualcomm for its LTE modem chips inside its phones.

The report states, based on information provided by an unnamed source, that Intel is going to great lengths to secure the deal with Apple for the next iPhone, and that’s just one of the reasons why the company is throwing so many employees at it:

“One source said Intel needs a small army of people on the Apple account because of the importance of the project to Apple’s future in the mobile market, because of the complexity of the project, and because Apple is a demanding client with an extremely popular phone.”

As for the chip in question, it is said to be Intel’s 7360 LTE modem chip, which features 450MB/s downlink, and it also supports up to 29 LTE bands. There have been other rumors in the past that have suggested the Intel-equipped LTE modem chip could be used for iPhones that are designated for emerging markets, like Latin America, and that Qualcomm-manufactured chips would still be used for iPhones utilized in other areas.

What’s more, the original report states that if this deal goes well for Apple and Intel, this could mean further business for Intel down the road, including Intel building future versions of Apple’s system-on-a-chip. However, that would still be a ways out, and not planned for the iPhone 7.

[via VentureBeat]