For years Apple relied onto off-the-shelf microprocessors for its computer and consumer products, but with the launch of its iPad slate the company decided to design its own chip for it so to ensure exclusive capabilities and performance. In order to create its own chip, Apple had to acquire P.A. Semi chip designer two years ago and recently the company reportedly made another takeover and obtained Intrinsity, a high-speed chip specialist.
Intrinsity is known for its technologies that allow microprocessors or consumer chips to work at higher clock-speeds. It is rumoured that Intrinsity helped Apple and Samsung to overclock ARM Cortex A8 core inside Apple A4 chip to 1GHz from 650MHz, the frequency the core was designed by ARM Holdings. In addition, it is known that ATI Technologies, now graphics business unit of AMD, licensed Intrinsity’s Fast14 technology, a patented logic family and a set of proprietary design methodologies and tools that automate the creation of multi-GHz digital logic.
According to an artcle from the New York Times, which quotes Tom R. Halfhill, an analyst for Microprocessor Report, Apple has acquired Intrinsity for $121 million. The transaction is likely to allow Apple’s own chips to work faster than competing solutions thanks to acquired technologies and intellectual property. Increased performance essentially brings new capabilities to Apple-branded products that other devices might lack.
“This adds another arrow to their quiver. The purchase price is like pocket change to Apple, and they get a lot of benefit. Apple’s products should handle tough jobs like playing video better than competing gear while devouring less battery life,” said Mr. Halfhill.
With $23.16 billion in cash, Apple is the company that can make a lot of acquisitions in order to boost its portfolio of intellectual property. Since Apple seems to be interested in making its own chips, acquisitions of companies like Intrinsity is just what the doctor ordered.
Apple declined to comment on the information regarding Intrinsity purchase.