Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has poached atleast two high-level baseband hardware engineers, this year, from the semiconductor company Broadcom, claims a report from AppleInsider. The recent hires fuels speculations that Apple would design and build its own baseband processors.
Over the past 3 years, Apple has build up a team of around 30 mid and senior level baseband software and hardware engineers, and most of them are from Broadcom and Qualcomm. As per the advertisements posted by the company, there are 50+ new openings related to the designing of the RF chip.
New recruits– who they are?
Paul Chang, who joined Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a senior program manager, in February, has experience of more than 11 years with the chipmaker Broadcom. Chang was the RF hardware lead at Broadcom, and was mainly responsible for the development of baseband transceivers that were used majorly by Nokia and Samsung, in their mobile devices. He holds a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Cargenie Mellon and UCLA respectively. Chang even holds an MBA degree from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Xiping Wang, who joined Apple in January, has served Broadcom as a design engineer and hardware development manager for over 10 years. He attended UC Davis and began his career as an RF Engineer at Motorola.
Apple eying the potential segment
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been acquiring its baseband hardware from Qualcomm till date. Some recent acquisitions have been made by the iPhone maker that will enable it to manufacture the baseband chip on its own. The baseband hardware performs some crucial tasks such as handling cellular connectivity details such as signal generation, modulation and controlling radio functions of the device. The Baseband chips industry is worth $16-19 billion per year, as of now, of which Broadcom has a 50% share. This might have compelled Apple to build these chips on its own.
Passif Semiconductor, a low power wireless chip provider, has been acquired by Apple last year. The Cupertino based company is on its way to acquire Renesas SP Drivers, a division of Renesas Electronics that develops chips for smartphone displays. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trying hard to control the development and production of its core technologies. If rumors are to be believed, then Apple has plans of bringing new baseband processors to its new iOS devices, and use baseband chip in iWatch, also.