Apple has been seeking for designers to develop wireless components and processors as the company is trying to reduce its reliance on external chipmakers.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has been hiring engineers and has published 10 job listings on its website for chip design-related positions located in San Diego, the home base of Qualcomm. The company is seeking for engineers to work on multiple types of chip components, including engineers to work on the company’s Neural Engine artificial intelligence processor and wireless chips -- LTE, Bluetooth, and 5G millimeter wave.
The move implies that Apple may be adding a new location for its efforts to produce wireless chips. Having its own chips allows the company to differentiate its flagship products from those made by rivals that rely on chipmakers for standard components produced on their schedule. It also gives Apple greater control over costs.
To date, the company has released wireless chips for AirPods and the Apple Watch, but hasn’t produced its own complete wireless systems for the iPhone. The company is already making several of its own chips, including those for the main processor of its devices, graphics engines, and specific functions for Mac computers. It has also started shipping its own power management components in some products and reportedly plans to replace Intel chips in Macs in at least some computer models as early as 2020.
Beginning in 2011, Apple used Qualcomm modems, but in 2017 the iPhone maker started to break away by also using modems from Intel. Amid its on-going patent and royalties fight with Qualcomm, Apple this year stopped using the San Diego-based company’s modems in its latest devices.
Apple did not comment on its chip production efforts.