Report: Apple's 5G modem to arrive in 2025, execs 'fed up' with slow Intel development

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 15
Apple's rancor at the slow progress of Intel modem development began long before April's Qualcomm settlement and the rush to 5G, a report said on Wednesday, adding that the iPhone maker's in-house baseband chip won't arrive until 2025.

iPhone XS Max


In early 2017, senior Hardware Technologies VP Johny Srouji "barked" at Intel's Venkata Renduchintala during a meeting at 1 Infinite Loop, according to a source for The Information. Srouji was allegedly frustrated with Intel's work on the XMM 7560, intended for 2018 iPhones.

The modem wasn't functioning properly, two sources said, even though Intel had already overhauled it four times to put it on par with Qualcomm chips, and missed multiple deadlines along the way.

"This would have never happened at Apple under my watch," Srouji supposedly told Renduchintala.

Under Srouji, Apple is believed to be creating its own 5G modem. Senior staff are telling engineers that the chip is due in 2025, an Information source claimed.

Apple settled its legal war with Qualcomm in mid-April. The same day, Intel announced its departure from the 5G phone modem business and it's now expected that 2020 iPhones will have 5G Qualcomm chips across the board.

Indeed, Apple reportedly hired away Intel's 5G lead not long before Qualcomm settlement, forcing Intel to "reshuffle" 5G work. Apple is once again believed to have been upset with Intel's pace, particularly since it was approaching a deadline for choosing a 2020 chip.

Intel is continuing to produce 5G modems, but only for markets such as drones, cars and robots. A spokesperson confirmed that other companies have approached it about buying that division.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 380member

    I did a double take on the 2025 modem introduction.  But then I realized that Apple needs to design this thing from the ground up and make sure they do not utilize any Qualcomm IP in the process.  Any patents they use should be FRAND.  It will be devilishly tricky to make sure they don’t unintentionally use someone else’s IP.  That could slow things down as well.

    edited May 15
  • Reply 2 of 18
    BxBornBxBorn Posts: 40member
    If Apple is going to produce a 5G chip for 2025 (5.5 years) and Srouji is right that the delays Intel has had never would've happened at Apple, Intel would've had to start development of this chip more than 5.5 years ago in order for Srouji to make good on his notion that these issues never would've happened at Apple...we'll see how it goes I guess, if it was that simple why didn't Apple start producing their own modem chips sooner? Why employ a 3rd party at all?????
    Latko
  • Reply 3 of 18
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,872member
    JWSC said:

    I did a double take on the 2025 modem introduction.  But then I realized that Apple needs to design this thing from the ground up and make sure they do not utilize any Qualcomm IP in the process.  Any patents they use should be FRAND.  It will be devilishly tricky to make sure they don’t unintentionally use someone else’s IP.  That could slow things down as well.

    Don't forget that Apple signed a 6-year licensing deal with Qualcomm with an option to extend it for 2 years.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 18
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,831member
    BxBorn said:
    If Apple is going to produce a 5G chip for 2025 (5.5 years) and Srouji is right that the delays Intel has had never would've happened at Apple, Intel would've had to start development of this chip more than 5.5 years ago in order for Srouji to make good on his notion that these issues never would've happened at Apple...we'll see how it goes I guess, if it was that simple why didn't Apple start producing their own modem chips sooner? Why employ a 3rd party at all?????
    or they may just have a 5 year contract with Qualcomm
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 5 of 18
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 380member
    JWSC said:

    I did a double take on the 2025 modem introduction.  But then I realized that Apple needs to design this thing from the ground up and make sure they do not utilize any Qualcomm IP in the process.  Any patents they use should be FRAND.  It will be devilishly tricky to make sure they don’t unintentionally use someone else’s IP.  That could slow things down as well.

    Don't forget that Apple signed a 6-year licensing deal with Qualcomm with an option to extend it for 2 years.

    Then I would ask what is cause and effect.  Did the licensing deal with Qualcomm drive the 2025 date or did the modem design effort drive the licensing deal?

    chasm
  • Reply 6 of 18
    FatmanFatman Posts: 286member
    Intel - what a sad story. One blunder after another, their CPUs are vulnerable to attacks, their fab process is years behind, they pulled out of the modem market. They cost Apple significantly: go-to market delays, market share loss, product headaches, scale back on features (e.g. RAM capacity). I’m in the market to upgrade my phone in 2019, but may wait until 2020 to ensure I get Qualcomm chips, not Intel’s garbage.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 352member
    Fatman said:
    Intel - what a sad story. One blunder after another, their CPUs are vulnerable to attacks, their fab process is years behind, they pulled out of the modem market. They cost Apple significantly: go-to market delays, market share loss, product headaches, scale back on features (e.g. RAM capacity). I’m in the market to upgrade my phone in 2019, but may wait until 2020 to ensure I get Qualcomm chips, not Intel’s garbage.
    What's truly sad is that when Apple was using AIM processors (Apple/IBM/Motorola) there was a huge bottleneck in processing power, major delays, etc etc and everyone was hoping Apple would go Intel because Intel had so much promise. Now 13 years in, we are seeing a similar situation. Ironically enough the AIM alliance lasted just one year more than we are currently in with Intel.
    frantisek
  • Reply 8 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,997member
    JWSC said:
    JWSC said:

    I did a double take on the 2025 modem introduction.  But then I realized that Apple needs to design this thing from the ground up and make sure they do not utilize any Qualcomm IP in the process.  Any patents they use should be FRAND.  It will be devilishly tricky to make sure they don’t unintentionally use someone else’s IP.  That could slow things down as well.

    Don't forget that Apple signed a 6-year licensing deal with Qualcomm with an option to extend it for 2 years.

    Then I would ask what is cause and effect.  Did the licensing deal with Qualcomm drive the 2025 date or did the modem design effort drive the licensing deal?

    Their inability to ship product due to a lack of viable alternatives drove the deal.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,403member
    Two things to remember:

    1. The Information has far from a spotless track record on Apple reporting

    2. Even if the 2025 date is correct, I think it's pretty clear that's a reference to the end of the Qualcomm deal. As some details about this deal have come out, it's become clear that Apple renegotiated away at least half of the money it "owed" Qualcomm under their previous illegal scheme, plus got a far better rate on the new chips. So what did Qualcomm get, I've been wondering, besides a stock boost from the promise of six years of Apple business, since they gave away so much owed money and future royalties?

    Now we may know. Apple poaching that 5G Intel guy and leaking that it was building its own modem was a bargaining chip. Under threat that Apple would develop their own (and better) 5G modem (and maybe license it fairly to other companies ...), what Qualcomm may have gotten is a promise that Apple wouldn't bring out or market a 5G modem until the contract ended.

    And now Apple has plenty of time to built and perfect their own 5G modem, and (if they choose to license it) become a major player in networking again. Hell, this might even inspire them to relaunch/update AirPort technology.
    edited May 15 johnbsiriushypoluxasteveaullama
  • Reply 10 of 18
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,288member
    Perfect! Apple will have their own chip about the time 5G actually starts to become relevant for smartphone users. 

    I think the posts above are right - the rumor was developed based on the timeframe of the Qualcomm deal, not the other way around. Regardless, QC has such a huge portfolio of 5G patents, you can bet Apple will be paying them some royalty money. Even if it’s covered under FRAND that doesn’t mean QC will abide by that model (at least without a legal fight)
    chasmJFC_PA
  • Reply 11 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 340member
    apple modem better not be standard.   5.5 years about right to get all the locals install the 5G booster (many currently refuse telco to put big 5G gear on telephone post, site safety danger - by look at it, it is a bit top heavy, may be apple should find a way to scale it down?  that will be a game change).  
  • Reply 12 of 18
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 303member
    The 5 G service rollout is going to take time. The first “5G effect” will be marketing bragging. 
  • Reply 13 of 18
    5G will take time. However I don't think anywhere near 6 years. 
  • Reply 14 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 340member
    hard to say about US. EU followed up their 2016 roadmap and slowly move forward. Yet to see US roadmap deployment (not faked 5G), not mention progress report.  https://5gobservatory.eu/important-progress-on-roadmaps/
    avon b7
  • Reply 15 of 18
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,297member
    Apple had the gun pointed at their head:
    -- 5G was rolling out around the world
    -- Apple was looking at falling behind for 5 years.   A delay that would destroy their reputation as an industry leader

    So, they swallowed their pride and surrendered to Qualcomm.

    It's such a shame that Trump blocked them from accessing the only other viable 5G vendor of modems.  Now they are stuck with deplorable Qualcomm.
    Latkomuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 18
    LatkoLatko Posts: 352member
    JinTech said:
    Fatman said:
    Intel - what a sad story. One blunder after another, their CPUs are vulnerable to attacks, their fab process is years behind, they pulled out of the modem market. They cost Apple significantly: go-to market delays, market share loss, product headaches, scale back on features (e.g. RAM capacity). I’m in the market to upgrade my phone in 2019, but may wait until 2020 to ensure I get Qualcomm chips, not Intel’s garbage.
    What's truly sad is that when Apple was using AIM processors (Apple/IBM/Motorola) there was a huge bottleneck in processing power, major delays, etc etc and everyone was hoping Apple would go Intel because Intel had so much promise. Now 13 years in, we are seeing a similar situation. Ironically enough the AIM alliance lasted just one year more than we are currently in with Intel.
    Apple had the gun pointed at their head:
    -- 5G was rolling out around the world
    -- Apple was looking at falling behind for 5 years.   A delay that would destroy their reputation as an industry leader

    So, they swallowed their pride and surrendered to Qualcomm.

    It's such a shame that Trump blocked them from accessing the only other viable 5G vendor of modems.  Now they are stuck with deplorable Qualcomm.
    This just makes the case for a failed multi-chip supplier strategy.
    Not being able to put competitive pressure on suppliers (whether RAM, modem, Mac cpu)
    However, in production outsourcing they do rule Foxconn and Pegatron...
    edited May 16
  • Reply 17 of 18
    1st1st Posts: 340member
    "-- Apple was looking at falling behind for 5 years. A delay that would destroy their reputation as an industry leader". with all due respect, Apple is NOT falling behind for 5 years. According to the latest Comcast annual report, "FCC 5G Spectrum Proceedings and Other Wireless Laws and Regulations. In multiple regulatory proceedings, the FCC is currently CONSIDERING establishing and/or modifying its rules to make availble additional spectrum that will likely be used to provide the next generation of commercial wireless broadband services, commonly referred to as 5G services..." Trump admin is sleep at the wheels. until the Laws and Regulations are clear, Spectrum frequency are allocated, engineering force are work in the dark (you can have multiple pre-std projects start, and consolidate in a flight once the regulation is finalized. I would never under estimate the US industry engin. Besides, Huawei is heavily depend upon US technology and chips on 5G anyhow (not just handset, base station, etc.etc.). It just need POTUS direct FCC put laser focus on it and treat as true national security issue, instead of his electrion base that suppose "national security" of Steel and Aluminum import from Mexico or Canada... Under current environment of FCC, I believe Apple is well in the game and with large cash reserve, very well come out ahead. IMHO.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 721member
    JWSC said:

    I did a double take on the 2025 modem introduction.  But then I realized that Apple needs to design this thing from the ground up and make sure they do not utilize any Qualcomm IP in the process.  Any patents they use should be FRAND.  It will be devilishly tricky to make sure they don’t unintentionally use someone else’s IP.  That could slow things down as well.

    Works perfectly with the 6 year license agreement, and chipset supply agreement they made with Qualcomm that took effect April 1 2019. Apple gave themselves enough time to get it right.
Sign In or Register to comment.