Apple is buying part of European chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor in an effort to bring more of its silicon design in-house. The deal includes $300 million in cash to license some of Dialogs power management technologies, acquihire 300 engineers, and take control of some assets. A further $300 million is being committed for products from Dialog over the next three years. As TechCrunch notes, this is Apples biggest acquisition ever when it comes to headcount. While Apple isnt acquiring Dialog outright, the 300 engineers make up 16 percent of its total workforce, and are said to have been working closely with Apple on chip design for years. Dialog has deep expertise in chip development, and we are thrilled to have this talented group of engineers whove long supported our products now working directly for Apple, hardware SVP Johny Srouji says in a statement. Our relationship with Dialog goes all the way back to the early iPhones, and we look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with them. Last year the Nikkei reported that Apple was looking to design its own power management chips and move away from Dialog; earlier this year Dialog said Apple had cut orders, and teardowns suggest that Apple may have started using its own design in place of a certain Dialog chip in the iPhone XS Max. This acquihire is likely a way to bring Dialogs R&D under Apples umbrella, with future designs becoming Apple IP that the company is free to use and modify at will.
Apple's relationship with Dialog goes back many years, to the early iPhone days. Apple struck a huge deal that will push its chip-making ambitions forward. The tech giant agreed to pay $600 million in total to Dialog Semiconductor, a UK-based chipmaker that has been working with Apple since the first iPhones came out. That large amount of money will go toward two things: $300 million in cash pays for a portion of Dialog's company, including licensing power-management technologies, assets, and more than 300 employees who will now work for Apple. The company will pay the remaining $300 million to Dialog in advance for products to come out within the next three years. "Dialog has deep expertise in chip development, and we are thrilled to have this talented group of engineers whove long supported our products now working directly for Apple," Johny Srouji, Apples senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, said in a statement. Our relationship with Dialog goes all the way back to the early iPhones, and we look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with them. The 300 Dialog engineers who will now be Apple employees have reportedly already been working closely with the company. Those folks will continue to work out of offices across Europe as Apple takes over some Dialog facilities in Italy, Germany, and the UK. Apple's acquisition of Dialog points to the company's seriousness in making its own chips, particularly for power management. Apple already makes chips found in its iPhones and iPads, but taking on more of the manufacturing process could help the company cut costs. Also, more efficient power-management chips could improve Apple devices like AirPods and the Apple Watch. While battery life is a big concern for all Apple devices, it's more pronounced in accessories like the wireless earbuds and the Watch, both of which are designed to work either all day or for multiple days at a time. With Dialog's technology and IP, Apple will likely be able to develop a better power-management chip than it could have on its own. After the acquisition, the remainder of Dialog's company will focus on the IoT, automotive, and computing and storage markets. The deal is expected to be finalized in early 2019, pending regulatory approval.