Originally Posted by BMWintoxication
when was the last time that apple did this?
Everyone seems to be forgetting that Apple co-founded ARM (then called Advanced RISC Machines)> The started it way back in 1990, in partnership with Acorn Computers (a British company that at the time was a major supplier of home and school computers in the UK) and VLSI Technology, a Silicon Valley chip design and manufacturing company directly descended from Fairchild Semiconductors, the first semiconductor outfit in Silicon Valley. Acorn had an early RISC chip, and Apple apparently wanted to develop the technology and use it for the Newton, in addition to licensing it to other companies to help cover the (large) costs of development.
In that sense, with the iPad, history has just come around again to where it all began.
For years after the founding of ARM, Apple owned a large share of it. In the mid--to-late 199s, when Apple wasn't doing well, they gradually sold off most of their ARM stock, at a very large profit, to raise money. By the year 2000 Apple's stake was down to 6 percent. I'm not sure whether they finally sold all of it or still retain a little.
Another interesting bit of history: the former Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), which used to make minicomputers and workstations, acquired a design license from ARM sometime in the 90s, and together with ARM they developed a really fast (for the time) variant called the StrongARM, which was used in the last version of the Newton. In 1997 Intel acquired DEC's chip division, including the StrongARM license, design team, and fab, as part of the settlement of a lawsuit between them. So for a while Intel actually owned the best ARM design on the market. Though all or nearly all of the DEC people left, Intel later developed a derivative of the StrongARM called XScale, but they apparently still had to pay some royalties to ARM, and there were always internal tensions within Intel about competing with their own bread-and-butter x86 architecture. In 2006, as part of a restructuring and consolidation campaign, they finally sold off the XScale, and with it their rights to ARM technology.