Tag Archives: hardware

Apple buys second ARM chip design firm, Intrinsity

Readers who have their ears to the grapevine will remember the excitement over Apple’s acquisition two years ago of PA Semi, which led directly to the production of its first in-house ARM CPU, the 1GHz A4 which is at the heart of every iPad.

Now, indications are that Apple has made a second acquisition to bolster its in-house ARM SoC development efforts: Intrinsity, formerly a close partner of major ARM manufacturer Samsung. What does this mean for the future of Apple’s iDevice hardware?

Among many other specialties in ARM SoC design, Intrinsity is well known for its engineering talents in the area of power efficiency optimization. Particularly for ultra-compact iDevices, power efficiency doesn’t just mean long battery life….it means that faster, more powerful ARM chips with higher clock speeds can be packed into the same package. Read more

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Roadmap 2010: Macbook Pro

UPDATE 4/3/10 2:30PM Eastern: Added mention of IPS display panels to specs page.

For about 3 months now, Intel’s new “Arrandale” mobile Core i3/i5/i7 processors have been on the market — offered by many of the major PC makers in their latest laptops — but have not yet been integrated into Apple’s products. These CPUs are part of Intel’s “Nehalem” family, a major generational leap from previous Core 2 technology. Nehalem-class chips have been at the heart of the Mac Pro and quad-core iMacs for some time, and offer numerous advantages.

Arrandale, though only a two-core design versus the quads in current Core i5/i7 desktops, is ahead of those desktop chips in a few areas. Notably, it is one of Intel’s first Nehalem chips built on a 32-nanometer manufacturing process; each step in shrinking silicon chip manufacturing processes brings about greater energy efficiency, better price/performance, and allows more transistors to be packed onto a smaller chip footprint. Read more

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