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Apple, a leading maker of portable digital media players as well as developer of Macintosh personal computer, has acquired PA Semi, a designer of Power-architecture microprocessors with whom Apple already held talks several years ago. While Apple does not provide any colour to the information, the rumoured sum for which the company got PA Semi implies that the Cupertino, California-based company has serious plans.

According to unofficial information, Apple paid $278 million in cash for PA Semi, but there are no direct or indirect proves for this. PA Semi was founded in 2004 by Dan Dobberpuhl, who earlier designed Alpha and StrongARM processors at Digital Equipment (DEC) back in the nineties. The company employs engineers from Advanced Micro Devices, Intel Corp. and Sun Microsystems who have a lot of experience in creating advanced microprocessors.

So far the most notable achievement of PA Semi has been dual-core PA6T-1682M PWRficient processor with dual-channel DDR2 memory controller and 2MB level-two cache made using 65nm process technology based on the Power architecture. The chip consumes only 5W – 13W – 25W while running at 2GHz. Performance of the central processing unit is not known, but it was embraced by telecommunication, networking and wireless companies. Besides, it is rumoured that Apple was in talks with PA Semi regarding usage of its chips inside Macs.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purposes and plans,” said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling in an interview with Forbes.

At the moment Apple uses x86 microprocessors from Intel Corp. inside its personal computers and it is generally unlikely that the company is interested to get back to Power architecture when it comes to Macs. However, Apple utilizes chips from a variety of suppliers for its products like iPod, iPhone, Time Capsule and others, which makes development of such devices rather complicated. As a result, with its own microprocessors, Apple can streamline its operations and show its supplier Intel that it is Apple, who picks up the chips, not Intel who feeds what it has.

Discussion

Comments currently: 13
Discussion started: 04/23/08 10:03:11 AM
Latest comment: 04/28/08 04:16:09 PM
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[1-5]

1. 
I suppose this could give Apple some leverage when dealing with Intel. Apple could switch back to PowerPC Architecture if it wanted to. They seem to very well switch architectures whenever they darn well feel like it so they could go to Intel and tell them "give us a better price or we'll use our own architecture". Not only that but having a proprietary PowerPC sub processor somewhere on the motherboard could eliminate any possibility of clones assuming that Apple made an operating system that had certain components absolutely requiring said sub processor.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/23/08 10:03:11 AM]
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2. 
But don't you think developers would stop producing software for them, if they need to change their code all the time?

Maybe it's easier than i think?!?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/24/08 04:06:09 AM]
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3. 
Apple could use these in media/HTPC or even as high power HD decoders

Apple HiDef TV anyone ???
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/24/08 09:29:44 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
So... you wanna do it?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/25/08 08:37:48 AM]
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I want you to stop producing shity liying comercials.

or ill start doing the same.


Think Apple can take the publicity hit when an 18 male, geek with access to incredible editing and tech resources gets an account on youtube, veoh and mutlitple other video sites?


stop mascuading as steve jobs, and tell his ass to come here himself so I can beat it.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/25/08 11:09:19 AM]
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4. 
PowerlessPC again? Given Apple was the one who rejected PA Semi's G5 successor design at the last moment, why bother wasting money to switch back to an architecture the company had spent billions to abandon? If that's some kind of bargaining chip, it was done many years too late!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/25/08 07:46:30 PM]
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5. 
I was hoping Apple goes back to the POWER architecture because it is different than an 80x86, less bugs, super scaler with out any tricks, handles a lot of memory with out any tricks, and it is an open architecture compared to 80x86. Since they acquire a POWER designer that makes POWER processors with lower electricity consumption, Apple can start making their portable devices smaller and thiner. Though I do think that Apple is getting tired of the quality of hardware and different revisions of the hardware coming from Intel.

I am an 80x86 user. POWER processors are just better than 80x86 and I am getting tired of all the bugs that 80x86 processors have during the years.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/26/08 07:02:17 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
what bugs?!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/27/08 09:26:02 PM]
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