'Strong evidence' Apple working on custom power chips for 2019 iPhones

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in iPhone
Apple is likely developing custom power management chips, working on the technology at facilities in Germany and the U.S., an analyst said on Tuesday.




"There is strong evidence that Apple is developing its own power-management integrated circuits and intends to replace the chip made by Dialog at least in part," wrote Bankhaus Lampe's Karsten Iltgen in a memo seen by Bloomberg. Although he noted that Apple is unlikely to switch in the near future, Dialog's shares were at one point down as much as 36 percent on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

"We believe that Apple is setting up power-management design centers in Munich and California," Iltgen elaborated, further claiming that "about 80" Apple engineers are already working on a custom chip, with plans to use it in iPhones "as early as 2019."

His position was to a degree backed up by Bloomberg, which indicated a "steady flow of engineers" from Dialog to Apple during the past year, citing a source familiar with the matter. The same person did however note that it isn't unusual to see a flow between the two companies.

Displaying further skepticism was Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner, who suggested that "an additional 80 engineers hired in this area pales in comparison to the over 1,300 engineers Dialog employed at the end of last year."

Regardless, Apple is increasingly shifting towards designing chips in-house. While based on an ARM template, Apple's A-series processors are highly customized, and the company is known to be working towards its own graphics architecture, dropping long-time partner Imagination Technologies. It's also believed to be designing another ARM-based chip for some low-power Mac functions.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    irelandireland Posts: 17,779member
    We know now the company the Barclays analyst's wife or buddies are invested in.
    edited April 2017 edredwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    Seems not a great time to be an Apple manufacturing partner if it requires substantial investment to do so. They look to be on a path to take control over all major components, a smart business move for Apple, but the components makers must surely be rattled after years of pandering to Apple to gain their business. 
  • Reply 3 of 14
    sog35 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Seems not a great time to be an Apple manufacturing partner if it requires substantial investment to do so. They look to be on a path to take control over all major components, a smart business move for Apple, but the components makers must surely be rattled after years of pandering to Apple to gain their business. 
    Looks like Apple is adopting the Samsung vertical integration. Which a great movie.

    I completely disagree. #whitewashing. #OscarsSoWhite
    edredSolicornchip
  • Reply 4 of 14
    gatorguy said:
    Seems not a great time to be an Apple manufacturing partner if it requires substantial investment to do so. They look to be on a path to take control over all major components, a smart business move for Apple, but the components makers must surely be rattled after years of pandering to Apple to gain their business. 
    Manufacturing and assembly is still outsourced, it's the design and IP side of things they're taking in-house. A manufacturing partner such as TMSC for example should not be worried.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    gatorguy said:
    Seems not a great time to be an Apple manufacturing partner if it requires substantial investment to do so. They look to be on a path to take control over all major components, a smart business move for Apple, but the components makers must surely be rattled after years of pandering to Apple to gain their business. 
    Makes one wonder what took Apple so long to do this. Bewildering, actually.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    gatorguy said:
    Seems not a great time to be an Apple manufacturing partner if it requires substantial investment to do so. They look to be on a path to take control over all major components, a smart business move for Apple, but the components makers must surely be rattled after years of pandering to Apple to gain their business. 
    Makes one wonder what took Apple so long to do this. Bewildering, actually.
    Agreed. It's a common sense move for a well-heeled company like Apple. Not all that unlike IBM back in the day who strived to be in control of their product line from the bottom to the top. 
  • Reply 7 of 14
    tshapitshapi Posts: 352member
    Apple is only doing this for the GPU and power management and CPU chips so Apple can get them all onto one chip for maximum power efficiency.  
    minicoffeewatto_cobrapropod
  • Reply 8 of 14
    loekfloekf Posts: 41member
    The Barclays people don't know what they are talking about. You don't need 1300 people to design a power management controller for a phone, so handling the charging/discharging of the battery and generating all those voltages for the SoC, modem, wireless amps etc.

    It's just another game than doing a CPU, GPU etc.

    However, I'm sure Apple has gained the knowledge after doing iPods and iPhones for the past 15 years.

    80 people is about right for such a PMU (power management unit), also given that Apple will move to in-house developed wireless charging,
    wants new power tricks (e.g. modulate supplies like AMD and Intel are doing) etc.
    jbdragonpatchythepiratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    I think it's smart of Apple to design the whole phone, top to bottom. Apple has the money and the people and should be in more control. It makes "Designed by Apple" even more so. Apple designs, and gets whoever to mass produce those parts to Apple's specs. Apple really needs to focus on making the top of the line phones. It would also help to get back on focus of making great iMac's, Mac Mini's, and Mac Pro's. Really Mac in general. It's really been lagging for way to long. I don't know if Apple has lacked focus for a while with this whole UFO Building going on?!?
  • Reply 10 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    Well here’s hoping that large R&D budget will bear fruit in a timely manner.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    Apple is still missing one of the most important components, the wireless chip...
    repressthiscornchip
  • Reply 12 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,364member
    And now Synaptics is the latest Apple supplier who may lose their Apple contract? 
  • Reply 13 of 14

    Displaying further skepticism was Barclays analyst Andrew Gardiner, who suggested that "an additional 80 engineers hired in this area pales in comparison to the over 1,300 engineers Dialog employed at the end of last year."

    Apple is notorious for using small engineering teams. You don't need 1,300 good engineers if you can hire the 130 best.
    randominternetperson
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