Apple is developing its own power management chips, says analyst

Report comes after news that Apple is working on its own GPUs

It appears that Apple is developing its own power management chips, according to a report from German private bank Bankhaus Lampe. The release of the report Tuesday led to a sharp drop in the shares of Dialog Semiconductor, the current supplier of these chips to the iPhone maker.

“The teams of both companies collaborate very closely and thus, Dialog cannot be replaced by a third-party supplier. However, Apple itself could replace Dialog,” wrote analyst Karsten Iltgen.

As evidence, the report cited 16 different job openings on Apple’s website for analog/power management engineers for the design center in Munich alone.

“A search on social networks such as LinkedIn revealed that Apple has already poached about 20 chip designers, some of them with long-standing experience, from Dialog,” said the report, which estimates that about 40 power-management chip engineers are currently working at the design center in Munich, with a similar number working in the area at the center in California.

Industry sources in Taiwan suggest that manufacturing of samples of a power management integrated circuit for Apple is already underway, Iltgen wrote. “The timetable seems to point to a potential application of the chips in the iPhone as of 2019,” the report said.

The reported developments at Dialog could turn out to be a rerun of what is happening at U.K. company Imagination Technologies Group, which announced recently that it had been informed by Apple that the iPhone maker will soon stop using its intellectual property for graphics processing units for its iPhone and other devices, as it is working on a separate, independent graphics design.

Imagination has questioned Apple’s ability to develop a GPU architecture from the ground up without infringing on the U.K. company's intellectual property rights.

For Apple, the moves could mean greater control over the components of its iPhone and other devices as it gears up for competition from rivals like Samsung Electronics. Xiaomi recently rolled out in February the Mi 5c built around its own Surge S1 processor, while Samsung uses its Exynos processors for some of its smartphones.

An 80-person Apple power management chip team would be small compared to the 1,200 engineers at Dialog, including 900 chip designers, of which about 500 are believed to be working exclusively for Apple, according to the report.

The Apple operation has reached a size that is starting to represent a threat for Dialog, according to Iltgen, who believes that a complete shift to Apple's in-house development is unlikely in the short term.

Apple and Dialog did not immediately comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?