A new and surprising supply chain report has surfaced this morning that reveals that Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan's IC design industry.
According to the report, "The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button." For the record, Apple currently has a couple of patents relating to fingerprint scanning being hidden in a display (see patent reports one and two).
Apple has already in-house developed CPUs for its products. The likely expansion of its in-house design business will have a significant impact on the global semiconductor industry landscape, the sources indicated.
The worldwide semiconductor industry is undergoing a new wave of consolidation. Since 2015, several big mergers and acquisitions have been announced, including Avago's planned acquisition of Broadcom, a major Apple supplier.
Whether this development could occur in 2015 or 2016 is unknown at this time.