For the past week, rumour has it that Apple was seriously considering a purchase of an ARM-based chipmaking company in order to provide its products with an edge against its competitors. That rumour has been proven to be true, with Apple confirming its purchase of Intrinsity yesterday.
Read on to find out more.
It seems that Apple is going all out in an attempt to maintain its competitive edge against rivals, especially in the mobile space, and the company’s purchase of Intrinsity yesterday has all but confirmed the rumours that customized ARM chips are going to play a very important part in Apple’s mobile offerings.
According to The New York Times, Apple reportedly paid US$121 million for Intrinsity, which, according to chip analyst Tom R. Halfhill, was like “pocket change” compared to the Cupertino giant’s massive cash reserves, while reaping huge benefits vital to helping the company retain its advantage of having the most efficient, low power consumption products in the market.
It had also been speculated that Apple’s acquisition of Intrinsity was related to the custom Apple A4 chip that was found on its recently-launched iPad; while most variants of the ARM processor found in mobile products like smartphones are currently clocked at about 500-650MHz (with the exception of Snapdragon) in order to strike a balance between power and battery consumption, Intrinsity’s engineers were apparently able to drive clock speeds up to 1000MHz without significantly affecting battery drain.
And by purchasing Intrinsity, Apple would be able to lay claim to the company’s technology and keep that performance advantage for itself, essentially shutting out every single competitor in the market from ever obtaining such Intrinsity’s custom processors for use in their products.
However, it seems that Apple’s real aim is not to merely purchase high-performing chips for its devices, but rather to develop and build its own custom processor which would be specially tweaked to optimize the performance on its iPhone OS, as Apple has traditionally been known as a tightly integrated systems builder that retains control over every aspect from a product. Furthermore, the company has also attempted to design its own low-power processor from ground up before with its purchase of P.A Semi, so it would be a reasonable assumption that Apple intends to do the same with its mobile offerings.
Source: The New York Times