Apple is not looking to build LTE into its upcoming A8 chipset, industry sources told Fudzilla. Instead of an SoC with LTE, Apple will rely on Qualcomm to provide a dedicated LTE chipset for its next generation iPhone. The A8 is rumored to be the ARM-based successor to the company’s current A7, which powers the iPad Air, iPhone 5s and iPad mini with Retina display.Apple’s A8 processor is expected to keep the same design as the A7, with a 64-bit architecture, an integrated graphics processor and discrete LTE. This strategy differs NVIDIA, which is bundling LTE into its Tegra 4i chipset. Other companies working on an SoC with integrated LTE include Mediatek, Broadcom and Intel. Most of the competing chips with integrated LTE target mid- to low-cost smartphones.
Apple’s A8 processor will likely pack the power of Imagination’s PowerVR graphics chipset. Apple’s previous iOS devices featured a PowerVR chipset, including the A7 which ships with the PowerVR G6430 GPU. Apple recently extended its deal with Imagination Technologies, which means we will likely see this chipset in future iPhone models.
Apple also is rumored to be dropping Samsung and turning to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for its A8 production. This is big shift away from Samsung, which exclusively made Apple’s processors in the past. Manufacturing difficulties in the 20-nm process supposedly slowed Samsung’s production output to a point where it could not meet Apple’s demands.