Apple Develops ARM Processor for Future iPhone Devices

Future Apple iPhone May Not Get x86 Processor – Chip Designer

by Anton Shilov
09/16/2008 | 12:35 PM

A senior manager of Apple said on his page on a social web-site that he and his team were designing ARM architecture processors for future Apple iPhone cell phones with rich multimedia capabilities. The claim is a rather surprising one, as it was widely believed that Apple planned to install x86 Intel Atom chips into Apple iPhone.

 

Wei-han Lien, the senior manager of Apple’s chip team, said in an entry at LinkedIn web-site that he managed “ARM CPU architecture team for iPhone”, reports New York Times. Naturally, no details were given, however, the fact that Apple is actually working on a custom ARM processor for iPhone is a big news itself.

Mr. Lien used to work for PA Semi, a designer of PowerPC central processing units (CPUs), that Apple acquired earlier this year. As a result, it was widely believed that Apple would develop PowerPC processors for its products that will be released in future.

The available versions of Apple iPhone cell phones that feature rich portable media player and Internet functionality are based on ARM processors by Samsung Electronics; therefore, it would be very easy for Apple to migrate to a different ARM processor, as the company will not have to re-develop software, but will be able to tailor its new chips in full accordance with its needs.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans implied earlier this year that the company did have plans to put Intel Atom inside the iPhone, but that would cause Apple to re-create its software for the device.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.