Apple iPhone 7 teardown: There is Intel Inside

Apple iPhone 7 has Intel inside but its still a long way for the world's largest semiconductor chip maker in the smartphone space

By: Tech Desk | Updated: September 18, 2016 12:25 pm
iPhone, Apple, Intel, iPhone 7 teardown, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus teardown, Chipworks, iFixit, Apple iPhone 7 Plus iFixit teardown, iPhone 7 teardown, iPhone 7 Plus taptic engine, Apple iPhone 7 Plus dual camera, iPhone 7 iFixit teardown, smartphones, iOS 10, tech news, technology With the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Intel’s LTE modem chipsets make way into a flagship smartphone (Source: Chipworks)

Apple iPhone 7 has just started hitting the shelves of retails stores and carriers across the globe. Apple’s iPhone 7 does not bring any significant improvement in terms of design but it packs the best possible hardware specifications. It is needless to say that both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the most powerful smartphones in their categories.

At its special event in San Francisco, Apple executive Phil Schiller dived deep into the hardware prowess of latest iPhones but left specifics for iFixit and Chipworks to reveal. Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack but also made way for Intel chips. No, Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus don’t have Intel processors, rather the chipmaker is helping with the phone part of the device.

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus compromises of four Intel components — two RF transceivers, the baseband modem and power management IC. Apple iPhone 7 model used by Chipworks for teardown reveals Intel’s XMM7360 modem as the baseband processor. The baseband processor is responsible for LTE advanced smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Apple is also using two Intel PMB5750 as the default multimode RF transceiver. According to Techinsights, the RF transceivers are designed on TSMC’s 28nm process. This is Intel’s big big win with the iPhone 7. The company has also supplied its power management IC codenamed PMB6826.

Earlier, iPhone 7 Plus teardown by iFixit revealed what has actually replaced the headphone jack. According to iFixit, a large portion of the area utilised by headphone is now being used to incorporate a bigger battery and the new taptic engine. Apple’s new taptic engine inside iPhone 7 Plus is considerably bigger and paves way for iPhone without home button.

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus bring an all new A10 Fusion processor coupled with M10 co-processor. The A10 Fusion has already topped benchmarks thanks to its combination of two low-power cores and two powerful cores. Apple iPhone 7 still has 2GB RAM but the larger 7 Plus gets an upgrade to 3GB RAM. The extra gigabyte of RAM is primarily for handling the demanding dual rear camera setup.

Also Read: iPhone 7 Plus teardown: iFixit reveals what has replaced the headphone jack

In the world of smartphones, ARM’s processor designs won the smartphone world while Intel stuck to its PC chip design technology. With the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Intel has made a strong comeback to the smartphone space. At IDF 2016, Intel announced its plans to fabricate ARM chipsets based on 10nm process for future smartphones. While Intel is not going mainstream, it is trying to be more realistic and relevant than ever before.