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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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