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

The Intel XMM 8100 5G modem

Apple is doubling down on its effort to design a modem for its devices and has moved its engineering efforts in-house from its supply chain unit. The engineering efforts are being led by Johny Srouji, Apple’s chip guru and the brain behind its A-series of chips.

Apple’s modem engineering efforts were previously being led by RubĂ©n Caballero who primarily saw the integration of modem with Apple’s own chips.

Apple Inc has moved its modem chip engineering effort into its in-house hardware technology group from its supply chain unit, two people familiar with the move told Reuters, a sign the tech company is looking to develop a key component of its iPhones after years of buying it from outside suppliers.

Despite being a key component, Apple has been sourcing modem from different suppliers. Beginning with the iPhone 6 and up until the iPhone X, the Cupertino company had been sourcing modem from Qualcomm with which it is currently involved in a major legal tussle due to patent licensing issues.

Apple has since severed its ties with Qualcomm and has been using Intel designed modem inside the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. It is also expected to rely on Intel for its 5G iPhone due to debut after 2020.

Reports have popped up from time to time that Apple has been working on its own modem. However, now that the company has moved its engineering efforts in-house, it is likely that we will see the results of this work sooner than later. With Apple still undecided on whether it would be using 5G modem from Intel on its 2020 or later iPhone, it is likely that the company is looking to switch to its in-house developed modem for this major transition.

[Via Reuters]