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'Intel' Articles

Intel Rumored to Debut Basin Falls Platform in May, Launch Coffee Lake Chips in August

Intel plans to move up the launch of its 14-nanometer Coffee Lake processors, introducing them in August of 2017 instead of January 2018. According to DigiTimes, the launch is being moved up because of "increasing competition from AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors." The site says Intel will release several K-series Core i3, i5, and i7 processors starting in August, along with its Z370 chipsets. Additional CPUs will come at the end of 2017 or early in 2018. Intel also plans to unveil its Basin Falls platform, with Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors at Computex 2017, which takes place from May 30 to June 3, which is two months earlier than originally scheduled. Intel's Skylake-X series features 140W processors with 6, 8, and 10-core architectures, while Kaby Lake X-series features a 112W quad-core processor. Intel also plans to release a 12-core Skylake-X processor in August. Intel's Basin Falls platform could potentially be used in future Mac Pro machines and the rumored high-end server-grade iMac. Coffee Lake chips appropriate for Apple machines were originally set to launch somewhere around the second quarter of 2018, so if rumors of Intel's updated timeline are true, the launch could be moved forward to either late 2017 or early in 2018. Coffee Lake chips are manufactured on Intel's 14-nanometer process and will be the fourth processor family to use the architecture after Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake. Apple is rumored to have new machines in the works for 2017, including new iMacs, which are likely to use Kaby Lake

New iMacs With Up to Xeon E3 Processors, 64GB RAM, AMD Graphics, and Thunderbolt 3 Rumored for Late October

Earlier this week, Apple made the rare move of pre-announcing that it is working on new pro-focused iMac models that will launch later this year. Apple did not share any specific details about what the upgrades will entail, but if the blog Pike's Universum is to be believed, the next-generation iMac lineup could feature several improvements that make Apple's desktop computer a more powerful workstation for professionals and average consumers alike. The blog, citing a "little bird" that is "usually pretty accurate," claims the incoming iMac lineup will be available with up to the following tech specs: • Intel Xeon E3 processors: The new iMac will supposedly have up to a pro-grade Intel Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor. Intel has not released that particular chip yet, but based on previous generations of the E3-1285, the processor could essentially be the E3-1280 v6 coupled with integrated Intel HD Graphics P630. Notably, Xeon processors support ECC RAM. • 16GB to 64GB of ECC RAM: 16GB of ECC RAM, configurable to 32GB or 64GB, in line with the current Mac Pro. iMacs currently have 8GB of non-ECC RAM, configurable to 16GB or 32GB. ECC RAM can detect and repair errors that cause data corruption and system crashes. No word if it will be DDR3L or DDR4. • Faster NVMe SSDs: The rumor claims the next iMacs will have faster NVM Express PCIe-based flash storage with capacities up to 2TB. The current 4K and 5K iMac models are also configurable with NVMe PCIe-based SSDs or Fusion Drives up to 2TB. • AMD graphics: The new iMacs will supposedly have AMD graphics options to

Qualcomm's and Intel's Latest LTE Modems for Smartphones Exceed Gigabit Speeds

Ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, Qualcomm and Intel have separately announced the latest LTE modems for smartphones with theoretical download speeds exceeding so-called "Gigabit LTE," aka 1 Gbps. Apple sources LTE modems for iPhones from both chipmakers. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X20 modem is the first-announced modem to support Category 18 download speeds up to an ultra fast 1.2 Gbps, with Category 13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps. That builds upon Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16, which has a peak download speed of 1 Gbps. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon X20, built on a leading-edge 10nm FinFET process, supports more combinations of LTE carriers and a higher number of total LTE spatial streams. This "vastly expanded flexibility" will for more operators around the world to deploy Gigabit LTE in the future. Qualcomm said the first products with the Snapdragon X20 modem are expected to be available in the first half of 2018. Intel's new XMM 7560 modem [PDF] supports LTE Advanced Pro for up to Category 16 download speeds "exceeding" 1 Gbps, and Category 13 upload speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The XMM 7560 modem is Intel's fifth-generation LTE modem, and the first to be manufactured based on its 14nm process. Intel said the XMM 7560 modem is expected to sample in the first half of this year and move into production soon afterward. Both modems support 5x carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO configurations, up to 256-QAM, and other technologies. Both chips also work with a number of cellular technologies, covering most LTE, CDMA, and GSM standards, meaning that

Apple Developing ARM-Based Mac Chip to Handle Low-Power Functions Alongside Intel Processors

Apple is developing a new ARM-based chip for its Mac lineup that would "take on more of the functionality" handled by Intel processors, reports Bloomberg. In development since last year, the chip, codenamed T310, is said to be similar to the chip used to power the Touch Bar in the new 2016 Macbook Pro. It's built using ARM technology and will work with the standard Intel processor, handling "Power Nap" low-power mode functionality. Apple engineers are planning to offload the Mac's low-power mode, a feature marketed as "Power Nap," to the next-generation ARM-based chip. This function allows Mac laptops to retrieve e-mails, install software updates, and synchronize calendar appointments with the display shut and not in use. The feature currently uses little battery life while run on the Intel chip, but the move to ARM would conserve even more power, according to one of the people.Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro uses an independent ARM-based chip called the T1 to power the Touch Bar, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Touch Bar, and the secure enclave that stores payment and biometric data. According to Bloomberg's report, the upcoming ARM-based chip will "go further," connecting to storage and wireless components to take on additional power management capabilities. Apple could begin using the new chip in an upgraded version of the MacBook Pro set to launch later this year, but it could be introduced as a quiet update with little fanfare as the chip that powers the Touch Bar was not promoted by Apple. Despite Apple's plans to offload some tasks to a new

Intel Announces Full Lineup of Kaby Lake Processors for iMac, MacBook Pro, and More

At today's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Intel formally announced its full lineup of 7th-generation Intel Core processors, known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake low-power Y-Series and U-Series processors were announced in late August, but today's unveiling covers notebook and desktop chips that could be destined for many future Apple Macs. Intel's 7th-generation processors are built on the "14nm+" process, introducing new optimizations compared to previous 14nm Broadwell and Skylake chips. According to Intel, Kaby Lake will bring "double digit productivity performance increases" of up to 20 percent for gaming notebooks and 25 percent for desktops, compared to 2013 Haswell chips from Intel's prior release cycle. With 4K and 360 degree content, customers can expect up to 65 percent faster performance on notebooks. Enhanced security, a new media engine, and improvements in VR and gaming are all advertised features. Of the chips announced today, the 28-watt U-Series chips are appropriate for a future 13-inch MacBook Pro update, and we could see the 7267U/7287U/7567U used in 13-inch MacBook Pro machines this year. Those same chips are likely what Apple would use in a Mac mini update, as the Mac mini and the 13-inch MacBook Pro have traditionally included the same chips. Intel's 45-watt H-Series chips are appropriate for a future 15-inch MacBook Pro update. The 7700HQ would be ideal for entry-level machines, while a mid-tier machine would use the 7820HQ and the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro would use the 7920HQ. There are multiple potential upgrade

Some 15-Inch MacBook Pro Models Misreporting Intel Iris Pro 580 Graphics

Several MacRumors readers have discovered that System Information readouts on some 15-inch MacBook Pro units appear to suggest they are running Iris Pro 580 integrated graphics, rather than Intel HD Graphics 530 as advertised in Apple's tech specs. The strange inconsistency was first found on some demo units running in Apple Store showrooms, leading some readers to suggest Apple was running higher-specced machines in-store. However, since then, some owners of newly shipped 15-inch MacBook Pros have also noted the same inconsistency in stock laptops sold to them. MacRumors forum member torquer discovered that on their machine, System Information reports an Intel HD Graphics 530 when the laptop is running on battery, but reports Iris Pro 580 once it's plugged in. This would suggest a bug in macOS Sierra is causing System Information to misreport the integrated graphics chip in some 15-inch MacBook Pro models. Another indication of misreporting is that units which identify the GPU as an Iris Pro 580 appear to show the device ID string "191b", which correlates with the Intel HD Graphics 530 chip. In addition, owners of machines reporting the more powerful Iris Pro 580 are not seeing the kind of graphics performance improvement one would expect. For the record, Intel only matches the more powerful Iris Pro 580 to Core i5-6350HQ and Core i7-6770/6870/6970HQ mobile processors, none of which Apple chose to use in its latest lineup of notebooks, likely due to power consumption

iPhone 7 Models From AT&T and T-Mobile Do Not Support CDMA Networks

Choosing which iPhone model to purchase this year should be more carefully considered, as both AT&T and T-Mobile models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not support CDMA networks such as Verizon and Sprint in the United States. Apple confirmed the matter in fine print in the iPhone 7 tech specs and on its LTE page. A customer that purchases an iPhone 7 from Apple's website and selects AT&T as their carrier, for example, would be unable to later use the smartphone on Verizon, Sprint, or any other CDMA network, even if the device is unlocked. By comparison, all iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models worked on both GSM and CDMA networks. A customer that purchases an iPhone 7 from Apple's website and selects Verizon as their carrier, on the other hand, would also be able to use the smartphone on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or any other GSM or CDMA network. It was previously reported that Apple would switch to Intel modems for select iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, including AT&T models, and Intel modems do not support the CDMA standard in the United States. That is likely the reason why AT&T and T-Mobile models are limited to GSM networks. Only Verizon and Sprint models support both GSM and CDMA networks The same report said Qualcomm would supply modems for the remaining iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus units, including Verizon and Chinese models, and this appears to be the case. Qualcomm modems support both the GSM and CDMA standard, which explains why the iPhone 7 from Verizon and Sprint will work on all carriers. Qualcomm, which holds patents for WCDMA and

Intel Announces First Low-Power 'Kaby Lake' Mobile Processors

After showing off the capabilities of its new 7th Generation Core, Kaby Lake, during the Intel Developer Forum earlier in the month, Intel corporate vice president Navin Shenoy today gave more details regarding the third "optimized" member of the 14 nm chip family following Broadwell and Skylake. In today's announcement -- focused on the speed and 4K UHD support the new CPUs provide -- Intel officially unveiled its first Y-Series and U-Series processors, which could be included in future Retina MacBook and MacBook Air updates, respectively. The new Kaby Lake processors (prepared as a mid-generation update ahead of Intel's Cannonlake processors) offer a moderate upgrade on earlier Skylake chips, with Intel focusing on the user benefits of its 7th Generation Core processors. These advantages namely include: 4K ultra-HD video streaming, 360-videos, and more intensive graphical performance for video games on smaller computers. In addition to gaining access to 4K content from services like YouTube and Netflix, Kaby Lake will grant users the power to create and edit their own 4K content with speeds up to 8x faster than a five-year-old PC. Kaby Lake was manufactured using an upgraded version of Intel's 14-nanometer process, referred to as 14nm+, which the company claims has produced a processor with 12 percent faster productivity performance and up to 19 percent faster web performance over previous generations. Everyday users will see these manifested in smooth app switching, even within performance-heavy apps like 4K video editing software, and basic battery life

Intel and Apple Already in Talks Over ARM-Based Chips for Future iOS Devices

Intel's new licensing deal allowing it to manufacture ARM-based chips for smartphones could win over Apple as a customer in as little as two years, placing pressure on current A-series chip manufacturer TSMC, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The report cited analysts that believe Intel could supply Apple with at least a portion of tentatively named A12 chips for iPhones in 2018, following reports that TSMC will be the sole supplier of A10 and A11 chips for iPhones in 2016 and 2017 respectively."TSMC could face tough competition as soon as 2018 or 2019 as Intel is likely to gain orders from Apple by then," Samuel Wang, a veteran semiconductor analyst at research company Gartner, told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Intel has begun to engage with Apple and it aims to grab one or two top-tier customers from TSMC."The switch to Intel may not have significant implications for iPhone users, but it provides Apple with an opportunity to secure the best manufacturing deal and technologies available. Intel's foundries will manufacture ARM-based smartphone chips based on a 10-nanometer process, which TSMC is also moving towards. The move could also shift at least a portion of A-series chip production to the United States, which could help create new jobs on the company's home turf."Intel is definitely the most formidable challenger for TSMC,” a senior Taiwanese chip industry executive said. "There is no rivalry between Apple and Intel so it's really likely that Apple could shift some orders there. The move is also in line with Washington's policy to encourage U.S. companies to make

Intel Touts USB-C as Future of Digital Audio as Apple Set to Ditch Headphone Jack

While the consensus is that Apple will remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on new iPhones unveiled next month, in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector for audio output, charging, and accessory connectivity, Intel continues to position USB-C as the open standard of the future for digital audio. At IDF 2016 this week, CNET reports that Intel architect Brad Saunders addressed the USB Type-C Digital Audio specification due this quarter, noting that its improved power management for USB headphones and other new features "will really make USB Type-C the right connector for audio." Apple has adopted USB-C on the 12-inch MacBook, but new iPhones are expected to retain the proprietary Lightning connector in lieu of the open standard. USB-C, meanwhile, continues to see wider adoption in popular Android-based smartphones like Google's Nexus 6P and Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Apple has equipped its mobile devices with proprietary connectors for over a decade, including the 30-pin dock connector used for iPhone, iPad, and iPod models between 2003 and 2012. Apple's notebooks, beyond the 12-inch MacBook, are also equipped with a proprietary MagSafe connector for charging. For that reason, it is likely that Apple will continue to favor Lightning over USB-C for at least the foreseeable

Intel Foundries Able to Produce ARM-Based Chips Under New Licensing Deal

At today's Intel Developer Forum, Intel announced a new licensing deal with ARM, which will see Intel taking advantage of ARM technology in an effort to attract more manufacturing companies to its factories. Under the terms of the deal, Intel plans to allow third-party semiconductor companies to use its 10-nanometer production lines for manufacturing ARM-based chips for smartphones, expanding the production options available to companies like Apple. Apple currently produces custom-designed ARM-based chips that are manufactured by companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), but with Intel and ARM's new licensing deal, Apple (and other manufacturers) could potentially use Intel to fabricate its chips. LG Electronics has already inked a deal with Intel and will use Intel's foundry business to manufacture 10-nanometer chips for future LG devices. It is not clear if Apple will strike a deal with Intel, as rumors suggest Apple already has an agreement in place with TSMC to produce 10-nanometer A11 chips destined for the 2017 iPhone and other 2017 devices, but the possibility exists for future chips. TSMC is also said to be the sole manufacturer of the A10 chip that will be used in the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7

Leaked iPhone 7 Logic Boards Suggest Intel Modem, Other Component Tweaks

Last week, MacRumors covered photos of what appear to be the front and rear of bare iPhone 7 logic boards, and since that time we've been able to study these boards and compare them to previous iPhone generations' bare and populated logic boards. Comparing the boards with existing component offerings and information suggests that Apple has indeed moved on from Qualcomm as its baseband modem supplier and switched to Intel for the upcoming iPhone generation. This does not preclude Apple from having other versions of the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus logic boards which feature a Qualcomm modem, such as an international model with differing LTE band options, as has been rumored. Leaked iPhone 7 logic board with Intel modem location annotated The image above shows the previously leaked and annotated logic board front with the probable location of the Intel baseband modem annotated. The pad pattern for the part in this location is markedly different than the pad pattern for the Qualcomm MDM9635, as shown in iFixit's parts catalog. The pad pattern of this mystery part also appears to match the dimensions listed on Intel's website for similar baseband modem offerings to the rumored XMM 7360 design solution.

First Machines Using Kaby Lake Processors Coming This Fall, but MacBook Pro Not Likely Among Them

At today's Intel Developer Forum, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and other Intel execs showed off its 7th Generation Core, Kaby Lake. While information shared on Kaby Lake was limited, there was an on-screen demo of two machines equipped with Kaby Lake processors, shown editing 4K video and using built-in graphics to play popular Blizzard game Overwatch. Kaby Lake is hardware accelerated for the HEVC Main10 profile, meaning it can "play the highest quality 4K premium content on the market today without a hitch." An HP two-in-one laptop on stage was used to edit 4K video and a Dell XPS laptop was used to show off Overwatch, which ran seamlessly on the machine thanks to Intel's efforts to "push the boundaries of processor graphics." For those unfamiliar with Kaby Lake, it is the third chip manufactured using Intel's 14-nanometer process, following Broadwell and Skylake. It's a semi-tock with optimized microarchitecture, offering support for Thunderbolt 3, native USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2. According to Krzanich, Kaby Lake processors are already shipping to Intel's manufacturing partners and will launch in new devices coming this fall, something we already knew following a July earnings call. Krzanich did not provide a further breakdown on when chips appropriate for some of Apple's machines long overdue for updates will launch. Intel often launches low-power 4.5W Y-series chips and 15W U-series chips first, neither of which are suitable for use in the machine that people are most curious about, the MacBook Pro. According to an old Intel roadmap, Kaby Lake chips

Intel Recalls 'Basis Peak' Activity Tracker Due to Overheating Issues

Intel is recalling its Basis Peak sleep and activity tracking watch due to overheating issues, and says it is shuttering the acquired startup behind the technology "immediately". The chip company initially reported the overheating problem in June after some Basis users complained of blistering and burns caused by the wearable device. Intel told its customers not to use the watch until a firmware update was deployed to solve the issue. The update never materialized, however. "We had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem," the company said in a statement on the Basis website. "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren't able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the user experience. As a result, we are asking that you return your Basis Peak watch and authorized accessories for a full refund at your earliest convenience." The recall and subsequent closure of Basis Science is a blow for Intel's ambitions in the wearable tech sector. Intel bought the San Francisco startup in March 2014 in a deal said to be worth more than $100 million. However, Basis failed to exceed its 1 percent share of all smartwatch sales, according to market research firm Canalys. Basis Peak owners will be able to access their activity data from the watch until the end of the year, according to the company. Further refund information can be found on the support section of the Basis

Intel Begins Shipping First Kaby Lake Processors, but Most Macs Won't Get Them Until 2017

During Intel's second quarter earnings call yesterday afternoon, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told investors and reporters that Intel has begun shipping the first of its 7th Generation Core processors, known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake is the third member of the 14-nanometer process, following Broadwell and Skylake. It is the first processor Intel has released since announcing the company will no longer adhere to the "tick-tock" processor release cycle, which saw it alternating between shrinking chip fabrication processes and building new architectures each year. Intel's last two chip releases have been plagued with long delays, and moving away from the tick-tock cycle will allow it to push out new chip updates on a regular basis. Apple's Macs, such as the Retina MacBook Pro and the iMac, have been impacted by Intel's chip delays over the last few years, resulting in long periods of time between updates and unusual update cycles. Kaby Lake is a semi-tock with optimized microarchitecture, offering support for Thunderbolt 3, native USB 3.1, and DisplayPort 1.2. Krzanich did not offer details on which chips have started shipping, but an old Intel roadmap suggests low-power Core M chips and U-series chips with GT2 graphics (likely not suitable for the MacBook Air) will be the first to ship out. Kaby Lake chips appropriate for the Retina MacBook Pro, the machine everyone is most curious about, may not launch until the very end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017 and thus may not be released in time for inclusion in this year's rumored

Apple to Use Intel Modems in AT&T iPhone 7, Qualcomm Modems for Verizon and China

Multiple rumors have claimed that Intel will supply at least a portion of LTE and Wi-Fi modems for the iPhone 7 series, alongside existing supplier Qualcomm, and a new report offers a closer look at how the orders will be divided between the companies. Bloomberg reports that Intel modems will be reserved for AT&T iPhone 7 models, and some other versions of the smartphone sold in other countries, while Qualcomm is said to remain a supplier of modems for Verizon and all Chinese models. The wording suggests that Qualcomm may retain orders in some other regions as well.Choosing Intel’s part for an important role in the product that generates about two-thirds of Apple’s annual revenue may represent a calculated gamble by the company. Bringing in second-source suppliers is a long-established practice by device makers looking to make sure they’re in a better position to negotiate on price. However, analysts such as Stacy Rasgon at Sanford C. Bernstein have said that Qualcomm’s modems remain ahead of Intel’s offerings in performance when measured by how much data they can get from the network into the phone.Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf previously hinted that the chipmaker would be losing modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, although it is reportedly still "retaining a major chunk" of Apple's business rather than being dropped as a supplier entirely. Taiwanese website DigiTimes recently reported that Intel would supply "up to 50 percent" of modems for the iPhone 7 series, while CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri told investors in

Intel's 'Kaby Lake' Processors Still on Track for Late 2016 Launch

Intel's next-generation Kaby Lake processors are still on track for a late 2016 launch and are set to enter production by the end of this quarter, according to an announcement made by Intel at Computex. Earlier this year, Intel announced it was no longer adhering to its "tick-tock" processor release cycle, which saw it alternating between shrinking chip fabrication processes and building new architectures each year. Kaby Lake, rather than being built on a smaller process, will be the third member of the 14-nanometer family after Broadwell and Skylake, and is the successor to Skylake. Kaby Lake is considered a semi-tock with optimized microarchitecture. It supports Thunderbolt 3 and native USB 3.1, but it will not feature support for DisplayPort 1.3, so Macs with Kaby Lake chips will remain unable to drive 5K displays over a single-stream cable. According to Intel, Kaby Lake will feature advancements in performance, battery, and media capabilities. Intel's last two chip releases were plagued with delay after delay, which is likely the reason why the company decided to move away from its long-running tick-tock policy. Several of Apple's Macs, including the Retina MacBook Pro, have been impacted by Intel's chip delays over the last few years with unusual update cycles and long periods of time between updates. With Kaby Lake chips set to debut in late 2016, it is possible refreshed Macs released late in the year could take advantage of the new processors, depending on when Kaby Lake chips appropriate for each Mac launch. iMacs, for example, are likely to be

Intel to Supply Up to 50% of Faster LTE Chips for iPhone 7

Intel will supply up to 50 percent of faster LTE chips, manufactured by TSMC and KYEC, for the iPhone 7 series expected to launch in September, according to DigiTimes.Intel will itself package the modem chips for the upcoming new iPhones, but have contracted Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and tester King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) to manufacture the chips, the sources said.Apple's current LTE chip supplier Qualcomm previously hinted that it would be losing LTE modem orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors, which increasingly points towards Apple and Intel respectively. Multiple rumors have hinted at the switch from Qualcomm to Intel since early 2015. CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note in March that said Intel has secured a "significant portion" of the LTE chip orders, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Qualcomm is expected to be tasked with the remaining orders, but it will no longer be the primary supplier. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. For customers, the switch to Intel modems means the iPhone 7 could have faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s series by adopting LTE-Advanced for downlink

Intel Wants to Replace 3.5mm Headphone Jack With USB-C Audio

Intel this week announced plans to usher in the adoption of an audio USB Type-C connector that would replace the standard 3.5 millimeter analog jack and eventually be capable of digital audio transmission (via Anandtech). The plans were announced during the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, where the semiconductor manufacturer set out its project to develop USB Type-C Digital Audio. Intel remained vague about the digital conversion, but set out broad aims to update the USB Audio Device 2.0 protocol specifications to include up-to-date audio features, while simplifying discovery and improving power management, with plans to release the revised specification in the second quarter this year. Intel hopes that the improved USB-C audio specification would eventually amount to a standardized connector replacement and eliminate the traditional audio jack from laptops, smartphones and tablets, eventually ushering in a transition to fully digital audio. From a consumer perspective, this could mean higher-quality audio output, more remote control possibilities on headsets, potential biometric health data tracking (such as in-ear heart-rate monitoring), and supplied power for features like active noise-cancelling without the need for dedicated batteries. The news comes amid iPhone 7 rumors suggesting Apple is also looking to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on its future mobile devices, however speculation gravitates towards Apple replacing it with a proprietary Lightning port capable of transmitting audio. With no headphone jack, wired headphones would

Qualcomm Hints at Apple's Switch to Intel for LTE Modems in iPhone 7

Qualcomm shares are currently trading lower after the chip maker suggested during an earnings call Wednesday that it will be losing orders from one of its major customers to one of its leading competitors. Analysts believe that customer will be Apple, according to Bloomberg, following rumors that the Cupertino-based company will rely on Intel to supply the majority of LTE modems for the iPhone 7, which is expected to be announced at a media event this September.Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Steve Mollenkopf told analysts he is “assuming” that a major customer will give orders to a rival, indicating a potential loss of business for the company. […] Samsung already uses multiple suppliers, leaving only Apple to make this change.In early March, CLSA Securities analyst Srini Pajjuri issued a research note claiming that Intel has secured a "significant portion" of LTE chip orders from Apple, likely in the range of 30 to 40 percent of production. Pajjuri believes Qualcomm will likely be tasked with at least a portion of the remaining orders. Intel reportedly has 1,000 or more employees working on preparing its 7360 LTE modem for the next-generation iPhone. Intel's 7360 LTE modem chip [PDF] features faster theoretical downlink speeds up to 450 Mbps, uplink speeds up to 100 Mbps, and support for LTE category 10 and 29 LTE bands overall. The switch to Intel LTE chips means the iPhone 7 could have even faster LTE speeds for browsing the web, downloading apps, streaming video, and other data-related tasks. Apple already improved LTE speeds on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s