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Will Apple Integrate Qualcomm IP On iPhone 5 SoC?

Apple has already established an extensive partnership with Qualcomm after adopting the US manufacturer's chip to power the CDMA version of its iPhone 4, and it looks likely that we will see Qualcomm's IP in the iPhone 5.

The question remains though, as to whether Apple will license the IP to bring both the transceiver and the baseband processor onboard, rather than relying on external components.

Doing so would carry a number of advantages; firstly Apple would only deal with a single company which allows it to drive a hard bargain and smoothens the manufacturing process.

Then putting everything on a single chip or piece of silicon optimises space utilisation on the board and reduces energy consumption; Qualcomm is also particularly well placed when it comes to on-chip integration.

The MSM8660, for example, has onboard GPS, 3G, CDMA plus WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, and we suspect that Apple, which is rumoured to have signed a secret agreement with Qualcomm, may want to tap into the latter's expertise on integrated circuits.

Furthermore, Qualcomm and TSMC have been working on 28nm technology (high-k metal gate (HKMG) 28HP and silicon oxynitride (SiON) 28LP) since the beginning of 2010; will Apple be tempted to look around and use another foundry for the A5/A8?