It's kind of amazing how online tech blogs have detached themselves entirely from the notion of journalistic integrity, and how quickly hundreds of sites will propagate an unfounded rumor posted by one of their peers.
An "authentication chip"? Seriously?
How about the far more rational explanation that Apple has gone with a solution based on MyDP for Lightning in order to enable USB OTG and HDMI/VGA over a single 8-pin connector? This would be a sensible way to counter Samsung's choice of MHL over a modified USB Micro AB connector.
I would imagine the chips are there to deMUX the USB D+ and D- signals off of the MyDP main link and perform hot plug detect and voltage regulation duties.
It's very possible that the el-cheapo Lightning cables support charging but not sync, seeing as it would be pretty easy to make a cable with VBUS, GND and HPD via simple circuitry.
It would have also been nice if AppleInsider had requested that the person who originally submitted this information finish cleaning the glue off the chip and take a proper photo of it. As it is, it's pretty much impossible to make out the chip markings and perform any reasonable identification. I've seen some claim it's an NXP device and elsewhere it's reported as being from TI. My money would actually be on Analogix as the supplier of the IP and silicon for Lightning.
And if I were to totally armchair reverse engineer this one, the pinout for Lightning goes something like:
1 C-Wire / Aux+
6 Main Link Tx+
7 Main Link TX-
8 System Clock