The road to 5G is closing in and it looks like Intel wants in. The company has announced that it is working on the XMM 7560 modem chip which, according to a report, will be used by Apple’s upcoming iPhones.
Earlier these chips were being made by TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.) but Intel is no longer outsourcing the task and is said to be making the chips on its own.
According to Intel, the new modem will offer 1 Gb/s downloads and 225 Mb/s upload speeds. Thanks to its 14nm architecture process, it should also help in consuming less power. Of course various factors like connectivity decide the overall performances. The chip is also Intel’s first such product to achieve gigabit speeds and is also said to offer support for 35 LTE bands simultaneously.
If Apple does indeed move to Intel, it could also help the Cupertino-based company squash Qualcomm’s run in the global smartphone industry.
You see, Apple’s relations with Qualcomm have not been very pleasing. In January 2017, Apple has filed a lawsuit worth $1 billion in San Diego and a 1 billion yen lawsuit in Beijing claiming that Qualcomm was charging unfair royalties.
Qualcomm naturally responded with a countersuit when Apple withheld royalty payments from manufacturers, and the chip-maker asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to stop the sale of iPhones and put Apple under investigation.
The tiff between Apple and Qualcomm began when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had said Qualcomm had an ‘unfair monopoly’ in the smartphone market. Since then, mobile makers like Apple, wanted to stay away from the chip maker. This creates a perfect opportunity for companies like Intel to swoop in, but in all honesty, it isn’t that simple. Apple might have to stick to Qualcomm for some time now. The report suggesting Intel’s move to in-house production also says that ‘unidentified quality issues’ will force Apple to purchase some modem chips from Qualcomm.