Tech major Apple has created a storm with the launch of iPhone 7 and 7 plus. Apple has reportedly dual sourced the LTE modems from tech firms Qualcomm and Intel, according to tech website forbes.com.
But the most striking thing is that the team has found is a secret little chip which remained unnoticed previously. Inside the Apple new smartphone exists a field-programmable gate array known as FPGA.
It has been manufactured using Lattice Semiconductor and it is an ideal type of processor which has uses like reconfiguring after being manufactured and even installing in a smartphone. Experts say, these magical chips have been used for first time in in iPhone and they help in speeding up the machine learning applications.
“It is very unusual and intriguing,” said Kevin Krewell, a principal analyst at Tirias Research. “Apple is good at committing to final pieces of silicon. A programmable chip is going to add extra costs to the build of materials. Not a lot of phones use FPGAs.”
Experts say it is part of Apple’s long-vision strategy. FPGA once put inside the iphone may be used for running machine learning algorithms. There many features like health monitoring in it that Apple never introduced previously.
Also, it could do some extra functions like image processing for APPLE’S yet to be released virtual reality ventures. However, FPGA may also used as a temporary end solution by the company which is planning to add a dedicated chip in its next line of iPhones.
But, it is still a mystery what exactly, the real function FPGA is now serving or how the iPhone 7 is now making use of the chip. Apple is yet to reveal anything about it, despite its smartphone launch in September.
It is rumored that as the chip can be re-programed, the company will update the firmware on the new iPhone to replace or innovate its chip’s function.