In recent months, Apple has made two new hires that suggest the iPhone maker is considering designing and building its own baseband processors. The hires both came from wireless semiconductor company Broadcom, according to AppleInsider.
Former Broadcom engineers Xiping Wang and Paul Chang joined Apple in January and February, respectively.
Chang was Broadcom’s RF hardware lead for the development of baseband transceivers that made their way into Apple and Nokia mobile devices. He now serves as a senior product engineer at Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Wang worked at Broadcom as a design engineer and hardware development manager. He also worked as an RF engineer at Motorola. His LinkedIn profile shows he is now an engineer at Apple.
On Tuesday, DigiTimes said that Apple was planning on forming a research and development (R&D) team to develop iPhone baseband chips in-house. These Apple-designed chips could first launch on iPhones in 2015.
Baseband chips used in Apple’s current-generation iPhones are purchased from Qualcomm and mass-produced at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple decided to design and build iPhone parts in-house. The Cupertino, Calif. company now designs its own mobile A-series processors. Its most recent, the A7, is found on the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina display.