CEVA is one step closer to the gates of Apple’s IPhone7
13 June, 2016
Apple intends to split its supply chain of LTE modems for the iPhone7 between Intel and Qualcomm. For the Israeli CEVA it means very good news: Intel's LTE modem is based on CEVA's DSP Technology
Apple intends to split its supply chain of LTE modems for the iPhone7 between Intel and Qualcomm. For the Israeli CEVA it means very good news: Intel’s LTE modem is based on CEVA’s DSP Technology
The cooperation between Intel and CEVA for the development of LTE modems seems to bears fruit. This weekend, Bloomberg reported that Apple will be using Intel modems in some of its future IPhone7 devices. Rumors concerning such a possibility have been circling for some time, but Bloomberk report is the first credible report concerning the matter.
According to the news press agency, IPhone devices that are sold by AT&T and several other providers worldwide will be equipped with an Intel modem, while these that are sold by Verizon and Chinese service providers will be equipped with Qualcomm modems.
The DSP behind Intel
These are excellent news for Israeli CEVA: Intel’s LTE modem is based on CEVA’s Baseband processor (most probably on the CEVA-XC320). The modem enables mobile devices a download files at a rate of up to 300Mpbs. It supports 6 different connectivity standards including: EDGE, LTE-TDD, LTE0FDD, HSPA+ and Chinese standard TD-SCDMA.
A week ago, Benchmark hosted an investor conference featuring the semiconductor companies it covers. Techtime achieved the Benchmark summary of the conference, and found out it support the Bloomberg story. It seems Benchmark treat the integration of CEVA’s technology into the next IPhone model as a done deal.
Benchmark states that “the biggest wild card for CEVA in 4Q16 and FY17 remains Apple’s potential usage of Intel’s CEVA-based thin modem inside the certain versions of the iPhone7. Several indicators are pointing to Apple splitting the iPhone7 thin modem supply between Intel and Qualcomm (iPhone 6/6s have been exclusively using non-CEVA Qualcomm thin modems).”
A new light on Intel’s mystery
“Intel recently shut down all-thing-wireless-handset with the exception of the chip giant’s cellular thin modem. The only reason Intel is hanging on to its thin modem, we believe, is because it plans to supply the modem to Apple” continued Benchmark. We believe, is because it plans to supply the modem to Apple. Qualcomm management has also mentioned recently the risk of a leading customer using an alternative to Qualcomm for some versions of a flagship phone. If Intel won half of Apple’s supply, our FY17 non-GAAP EPS estimate for CEVA would jump by more than $0.25”.
Interestingly, Benchmark expects Intel to supply half of the IPhone7 modems, a much bigger cut than reported by Bloomberg. According to the financial news agency estimates, AT&T will sell 23 million phones in 2017. In 2015 Apple sold 231 million IPhones. While Bloomberg expects mainly the IPhone7 devices to be equipped with CEVA based modems, Benchmark expects half of all the modems to be CEVA based Intel devices, this means as many as 115 million IPhones might contain a modem based on CEVA;s DSP processor – and that is, without doubt, a major deal.