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Thread: Apple Developing 5G Modem without Intel or QCOM

  1. #1
    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Apple Developing 5G Modem without Intel or QCOM

    According to LinkedIn they are. Hopefully it will be integrated into the SoC:

    mmWave IC Design Engineer
    Job Number: 113681632
    Santa Clara Valley, California, United States
    Posted: Apr. 27, 2018
    Weekly Hours: 40.00

    Job Summary
    In this highly visible role, you will be at the center of a silicon design group with a critical impact on getting functional products to hundreds of millions of customers quickly.

    As a millimeter-wave IC design engineer, you will be responsible for providing circuit and system solutions for multi-gigabit wireless chips.

    Key QualificationsThe ideal candidate will have 8+ years of mmWave, RF, and analog integrated circuit design experience, with 3+ years in mmWave CMOS or SiGe circuit design.Extensive knowledge of all or many of the following fields:
    • Deep understanding in system specification and able to work with system architects to translate system requirement into circuit requirement at IC level. Familiar with various RF transceiver architectures and their trade-offs.
    • Deep understanding of fundamental microwave theories and concepts; such as transmission-lines concepts, power waves and scattering parameters, power gain expressions, gain, noise, and VSWR design trade offs.
    • Extensive experience in simulation and design of lumped and distributed passive structures; such CPW lines, coupled lines, directional couplers, dividers/combiners, phase shifters, inductors, and capacitors.
    • Extensive experience in analysis, design, and implementation of mmWave low-noise, broadband, and/or high-power amplifiers
    • Extensive experience in analysis, design, and implementation of mmWave frequency converting blocks and oscillators
    • Understanding of mmWave device modeling. Insights into packaging effects, integrated antenna arrays, supply isolations, high frequency ESD structures, and circuit layout for optimum performance.
    • Extensive experience in high frequency silicon characterization and debug.

    Description
    Work with platform architects, system group, and digital design group to define the requirements for mmWave phased-array front-end and baseband blocks based on the product requirements.

    Work with technology team and foundries on process evaluation/selection for the target device.Design various transceiver blocks in TX, RX, and LX chains.Work with the design, layout, and chip integration teams to integrate the IP’s and verify the top level functionality and performanceWork with mmWave test engineers to bring up and characterize chips

    Education

    MSEE is required. Ph.D is preferred

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  2. #2
    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    At least for the mmWave part of 5G (which is being pushed primarily by Verizon in my understanding, at least in the US). Less clear this covers the eMBB or ULL aspects but maybe Apple already has designers who can cover those areas.

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  3. #3
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    IMHO, Daniel, you're misinterpreting this.
    This is not (yet) about 5G, it's about 802.11ad (perhaps in 7GHz band, perhaps in 60GHz).
    The target will be communication between Apple's AR glasses and some base station though, given Apple's generic dislike of cables, I expect to see it then spread elsewhere. (Perhaps as an HDMI replacement?)

    Point is, 5G is a huge spec and the EM side is only part of it. There's also a huge amount of stuff that has to be matched wrt to MACs and protocols. It's surely easier to get started with smaller wireless targets (hence the W1, now W2 aiming at a [subset of?] WiFi and Bluetooth). Once Apple have the EM and part of the PHY side down, they will maybe negotiate with Intel for a reasonable price to pick up all that boring spec-matching code rather than write it themselves?

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