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.
Dialog has worked with Apple since the original iPhone. Apple has signed a licensing deal with its long-time supplier Dialog and acquired assets including 300 employees, the two companies announced. Apple will pay the UK-based firm $300 million now plus another $300 million in the future for delivery of products. It also awarded Dialog a number of new contracts for power management, charging and audio subsystem chips. In June this year, Nikkei and other sites reported that Apple was working on its own power management chips in an attempt to centralize manufacturing and reduce costs. That would have come at the expense of Dialog, which has been making chips for Apple since the original iPhone. It relies on Apple for about three quarters of its revenue, and recently warned investors that Apple had slashed orders by around 30 percent. The acquisition of 300 people, or 16 percent of Dialog's workforce, is Apple's largest ever in terms of personnel, Techcrunch noted. The teams are based in Italy, England, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Apple will reportedly be co-locating with Dialog and may take over entire buildings in some cases. "Dialog has deep expertise in chip development, and we are thrilled to have this talented group of engineers who've long supported our products now working directly for Apple," said Apple hardware SVP Johny Srouji. Apple is supposedly most interested in the power management circuits developed by Dialog. The aim is to reduce power draw on devices like the Watch and AirPod Wireless headphones. Following the acquisition, Dialog said it will focus its non-Apple business on Internet of Things (IoT), automotive and storage tech.