Apple is creating a new office to focus on wireless chip production, as the Cupertino firm moves forward to bring 5G chip production in-house.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is hiring a few dozen engineers for a new office in Southern California to develop wireless chips that could eventually replace components supplied by Broadcom Inc. and Skyworks Solutions Inc. The office is located in Irvine, California, which is close to major chipmakers located in Los Angeles.
Apple job listings indicate the firm is seeking employees who have expertise in modem chips and wireless semiconductors. Employees will work on wireless radios, radio-frequency integrated semiconductors, and semiconductors for connecting to Bluetooth and WiFi.
“Apple’s growing wireless silicon development team is developing the next generation of wireless silicon!” one job listing says. Another says employees will “be at the center of a wireless SoC design group with a critical impact on getting Apple’s state-of-the-art wireless connectivity solutions into hundreds of millions of products.”
Apple’s multi-year modem deal with Broadcom will expire in 2023. Broadcom supplies Apple with high-performance wireless components and modules. When the contract expires, Apple will likely instead rely on its own components. Longtime Apple supplier TSMC will manufacture the Apple-designed 5G modems for the 2023 iPhones.
Apple has long been working to bring more of its chip production in-house as it works to reduce its reliance on third-party component suppliers.
Current rumors indicate that Apple’s in-house modem chips will be ready for the 2023 iPhone models, so Qualcomm chips will continue to be used in next year’s iPhone 14 lineup.