Apple is already tackling problems that no one else has solved. This is not a leak, not a rumour or gossip. The company has opened two vacancies for “research engineers”, and their job descriptions clearly state what they will do. 6G, the next-generation cellular technology. The project is at the stage of defining concepts, so 6G support will not appear on the iPhone this year or next. The introduction of 6G will begin no earlier than in a few years, maybe even by 2030. Until now, Apple had included support for new cellular technologies in iPhones and iPads later than competitors, when cellular operators were already offering them in large quantities. Why did Apple suddenly change its traditions?
The implementation of 6G in the iPhone will be carried out at two Apple campuses, in San Diego and Cupertino. Within the areas of responsibility of Joni Sruji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware platforms. Johnny orchestrated and succeeded in developing Apple’s own chips, and he led the creation of the Apple A6 (it was the first chip that Apple created without outside help).
Since July 2019, in Joni, he is also responsible for developing Apple mobile modems (5G, and, as it turned out, also 6G). Since the end of 2020, another direction has been subordinated to him – the development of displays and technologies for them. And Apple’s 5G modem will come out earlier than expected. Not in 2022-2024, but 2022. Apple still uses 5G modems from Qualcomm, but now it is no longer an ordinary consumer of communication microelectronics; it is almost its developer itself. And to keep up, she must now be at the forefront of communications technology development.
Everything that Joni Sruji does is classified at a level unprecedented even for Apple. Nevertheless, those who go into 6G will be obliged to participate in the work of developers’ alliance of this technology. Apart from Apple, all its main competitors are Samsung, Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Intel. And speak on the forums of this alliance. Influence the decisions made.
When will 6G appear on the iPhone?
In early 2011 (ten years ago!) Tim Cook, who was not then the head of Apple, officially announced plans to develop his own processors. And that this project has already been allocated 3.5 billion dollars. From what he told the public, it became clear that everything is dire. Tim recalled a similar project Apple Computer, in 1988-1989 – and lucidly explained why that project had no chance of success and how the current project differs from the well-forgotten old one.
The reaction of the media was not long in coming. Turning to the primary sources, the curious found many juicy details in the history of 23 years ago and predicted an equally shameful fiasco for Apple’s new venture. In 1988, the company really tried not only to develop its own RISC processor, having neither experience nor even an idea of how to do it, but it was also still in the early stages. Apple Computer was going to be the first in the world to create a 4-core processor for personal computers.
In December 2019, the former Intel mobile modem division, acquired by Apple for $ 1.4 billion with all intellectual property, 2,200 employees and 17,000 patents, officially became an Apple division. At its disposal, Apple had the multi-mode 5G modems Intel XMM 8060 and Intel XMM 8160, which Intel could not bring to an acceptable (for Apple) level, and the entire team that worked on them. The failed developments were not refined. Instead, they say that Joni Sruji brainstormed and decided to create a 5G modem like no other in nature, taking into account the problems faced by Intel and Qualcomm (Apple’s modem division also has Qualcomm ).
Having familiarized themselves with the results of their collective creativity, the developers were shocked and convincingly argued that this was impossible. The early development phase ended earlier this year. Now the early prototypes stage. What are they going to do with the mobile 5G modem, how it will amaze and surprise us, and many other questions remain unanswered. The 5G modem, which is already turning into reality, will also be supplemented by a 6G modem in an early concept phase, which will one day enter the early prototype phase.
What is 6G?
You can find out about this, for example, here. In short, these are sixth-generation cellular networks, which are not yet even in the project. Although on November 7 last year from the Taiyuan cosmodrome in China, as reported in a press release, the world’s first 6G satellite was launched to test this technology. Details are unknown.
In addition to testing 6G, the satellite will monitor rural areas in China and detect fires. Do the Chinese already have 6G? Hardly, the sixth generation is still at an early stage of development, and this is primitive chaos – scientifically grounded, real at the current level of science and technology. But many of his concepts are still not finalized. Only the basic technical principles have been determined, and the approximate characteristics of this technology have been estimated. These characteristics continue to change. Three months ago, it was thought that 6G would transfer data 50 times faster than 5G; now, theorists have concluded that 6G will be even cooler and surpass 5G by 100 times.