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Rumor: Apple plans to bring iPhone baseband chip design in-house

iPhone 5s logic board with Qualcomm baseband chipset. | Source: iFixit

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A rumor from the Far East on Tuesday claims Apple is mulling the creation of a research and development team that will be responsible for designing future iPhone baseband processors to be used as soon as 2015.

Citing industry sources, DigiTimes reports Apple is planning to develop an in-house baseband processor to be used in 2015 iPhone models. The component will supposedly to be produced by Samsung and Globalfoundries.

One of the most important pieces of silicon in a cellphone, the baseband chip, or baseband processor, manages all on-board radio functions. Currently, Qualcomm supplies Apple with BPs used in both the iPhone and iPad product lineups.

The publication mentions a separate rumor that claims Apple is looking to incorporate a baseband processor into its A-series application processor, though sources say the company will stick with two discrete chips for now.

Tuesday's rumor lines up with Apple's ongoing efforts to exert tighter control over the design and manufacturing of chips used in its product lineup. Most recently, the company was reportedly in talks to take a $479 million stake in Japanese chipmaker Renesas SP Drivers, which is said to be the sole supplier of LCD chips for the iPhone.