Apple's P.A. Semi to Develop ARM CPU for Upcoming iPhone

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
When Apple acquired P.A. Semi, a Power processor manufacturer, we couldn't quite figure out what their plans were. After all, Intel has been at the forefront of the Cupertino company's hardware side of things for a few years, but it was clear either Intel or Apple weren't entirely ecstatic with the relationship as they once were, because while many originally speculated that the iPhone 2 would include an Intel Atom processor, it clearly did not.

Well, the reason for the P.A. Semi acquisition becomes a little clearer today. The folks at Apple Insider link to a blog post which links to a LinkedIn Profile of the 'Senior Manager Chip CPU Architect at Apple", who's managing the new 'ARM CPU architecture team for iPhone'. Hard to misinterpret that one!

So, P.A. Semi will be heading up production of a new ARM CPU for iPhone use, which is not a bad move. Apple will be able to build and tweak their own chip, hopefully resulting in making the iPhone 3 much more efficient, both with regards to performance and power. The current iPhone's on the market are also equipped with ARM processors, so codebases can remain intact... good news for developers.


The small revelation appears to confirm speculation that Apple was indeed the "leading handset OEM" who purchased earlier this year "a long-term architecture license" to ARM's current and future technology portfolio for use in its future mobile products. Although analysts have long fingered an ARM-based processor at the heart of the first two generations of the iPhone, Apple has refused to confirm or deny the specific type of chip employed by the handsets.

Source: Apple Insider