Apple buys another chip design house (Rumor)

electronista is reporting that several employees of processor design house Intrinsity have perhaps changed their Linkedin profiles a little too early, and blown the tightly kept secret that Apple has bought another chip design house.

Intrinsity is well know for it’s work on ARM based SOCs (System On a Chip), like the Samsung Hummingbird, which uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor. It’s a similar architecture to that which is rumoured to make up the iPad’s A4 CPU, but with more I/O on board. The Hummingbird was used in the Galaxy 5.

From electronista :

While any developments would more likely use the ARM A9, an acquisition could be a coup for Apple as it would give it further opportunities to improve performance beyond what was learned from PA Semi.

PA Semi (which Apple already own) have supposedly taken an ARM A8, paired it down so that it has much less I/O circuitry, and improved it’s power consumption to produce the iPad’s custom A4 SOC. Low power silicon designs being something they excel at.

This additional purchase, if true, shows that Apple sees it’s future, at least in mobile devices, as being far from Intel silicon.

Intrinsity’s website is now showing as “Under Construction” as of the writing of this news piece. Expect an announcement within days, if not hours.


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