Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017, 05:33
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Processors, Rumor
Apple may be developing its own power management chips according to a report from German private bank Bankhaus Lampe.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, precipitated a sharp drop in the share price of Dialog Semiconductor, which functions as Apple’s current supplier.
Per analyst Karsten Iltgen:
“The teams of both companies collaborate very closely and thus, Dialog cannot be replaced by a third-party supplier. However, Apple itself could replace Dialog.”
Iltgen’s analysis cited 16 different job openings on Apple’s website for analog/power management engineers for the design center in Munich alone.
She also noted that industry sources have apparently spotted manufacturing samples for power management circuitry for Apple within the region. “The timetable seems to point to a potential application of the chips in the iPhone as of 2019,” the report said.
The rumor also reflects events transpiring in the U.K., wherein Apple seems to be breaking away from Imagination Technologies Group in lieu of developing its own graphics processing units for forthcoming products.
Imagination has questioned Apple’s ability to develop a GPU architecture from the ground up without infringing on the U.K. company’s intellectual property rights.
For Apple, the moves could mean greater control over the components of its iPhone and other devices as it gears up for competition from rivals like Samsung Electronics. Xiaomi recently rolled out in February the Mi 5c built around its own Surge S1 processor, while Samsung uses its Exynos processors for some of its smartphones.
Apple is said to be assembling an 80-person power management chip team. Diaglo’s team is said to consist of 1,200 engineers, including 900 chip designers, 500 of whom are said to be tasked exclusively to Apple’s needs.
The Apple operation has reached a size that is starting to represent a threat for Dialog, according to Iltgen, who believes that a complete shift to Apple’s in-house development is unlikely in the short term.
Apple and Dialog did not immediately reply for comment.