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NYT confirms Apple purchase of chipmaker Intrinsity

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Confirming a rumor from early April, The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Apple purchased Intrinsity, a privately owned ARM chip design firm.

Citing "people familiar with the deal," the Times said that Apple purchased Intrinsity. The report also included an estimated $121 million purchase price, provided by Tom R. Halfill, an analyst with Microprocessor Report.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling indirectly confirmed the purchase, stating that the the hardware maker "buys smaller technology companies from time to time." However, he added that Apple does not reveal "purpose or plans" with any acquisition.

Sources also confirmed to the Times that Intrinsity helped to design the custom A4 processor found in the recently released iPad. Weeks ago, one analyst suggested that only Intrinsity could have delivered the A4 processor with its snappy 1GHz clock speed. The Cortex-A8 reference design on which the A4 is based can only be clocked up to 650MHz.

In early April, rumors first surfaced that Apple purchased Intrinsity to help build the A4. Evidence to support the acquisition surfaced when a number of Intrinsity employees changed their company status on LinkedIn to Apple on the first of the month.

It's yet another purchase for Apple in the mobile processor space. In 2008, Apple also bought fabless chip designer P.A. Semi for $278 million in 2008.

Apple also bought a 3 percent stake in 2008 in Imagination Technologies, maker of the PowerVR mobile graphics chip found in the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone. Last year, Apple bumped its share to 9.5 percent. In addition to partnering with Apple, Imagination also competes with ARM Holdings, which makes the reference designs for chips that power the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Last week, a rumor surfaced that Apple was looking to buy ARM, though the company's CEO quickly downplayed that speculation, suggesting an acquisition would be of little benefit to Apple. Again on Tuesday, ARM's CEO made an attempt to dispel rumors of an Apple takeover during a quarterly conference call in which the British chip designer reported record sales.

Speculation of Apple purchases have persisted for some time, as Apple has accrued a massive amount of cash and reserves. Earlier this year, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Apple must "think big" with its massive war chest of $40 billion. The CEO also said that his company would take "big," bold" risks.
post #2 of 17
The iPad was a big bold move though now it looks like a no brainer. The thing has only been around for a few weeks yet its already the yardstick by which every new tablet will be measured.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

The iPad was a big bold move though now it looks like a no brainer. The thing has only been around for a few weeks yet its already the yardstick by which every new tablet will be measured.

And apparently only needs to sell 1.09 million units to equal the total number of tablet computers sold last year.
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post #4 of 17
They should be busy along with the PA Semi guys/gals.


Just looking at Apple's current lineup.

We need new designs for

Apple TV

It needs to be synchronized with today's iPhone OS platform. We also need gaming support, Gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth and 1080p support. For Mother Earth's sake please put a power button on as well. Upgrade the HDMI to 1.4 too. Thanks

Airport Extreme/Time Capsule

Only real upgrades I can think about are a third radio for 450Mbps throughput and more bare bones NAS features for the Time Capsule.

I think the next product to use custom designed chips would be

Apple Home Server.

I think it would be an ARM Cortex MP A9 processor running an iPhone OS flavor. It'll sync multiple iTunes accounts to one centralized store and support multiple Time Machine backups. It'll have 4 drive bays and be easy to setup like a Drobo and will support Mobileme 2.0 and feature direct support for a much improved iDisk (which will rival Dropbox)

</raving speculation>

These guys should be busy busy busy.
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post #5 of 17
hmurchison's post seconded.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

hmurchison post seconded.

count me in! lol
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofino View Post

count me in! lol

Oh my god H that is like my whole wish list. Got so steamy my screen fogged up when I was reading your post.
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Oh my god H that is like my whole wish list. Got so steamy my screen fogged up when I was reading your post.

Right?!

I know I've posted that same list more than once on this site over the past two years even having people argue with me that iPhone OS can't be used for any of those devices. It was explained that they wouldn't include CocoaTouch,just the streamlined IPhone OS designed for ARM but I'm not sure that was understood. \

Anyway, I hope the Home Server comes very soon as I think it's the weakest point of Apple's line up. While a revamped AppleTV and a high-capacity router are needed I don't see them as pressing.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Right?!

I know I've posted that same list more than once on this site over the past two years even having people argue with me that iPhone OS can't be used for any of those devices. It was explained that they wouldn't include CocoaTouch,just the streamlined IPhone OS designed for ARM but I'm not sure that was understood. \

Anyway, I hope the Home Server comes very soon as I think it's the weakest point of Apple's line up. While a revamped AppleTV and a high-capacity router are needed I don't see them as pressing.

Yup. I think the view about ARM is starting to change now that we see their roadmap and understand what kind of power they can offer.

iPhone OS 4.0 adds Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL. I don't think his is just for the benefit of mobile devices. GCD could be used effectively for a Home Server. I think Apple's bridging the gap between functionality in iPhone OS vs Mac OS about as well as they can to spur development.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Right?!

I know I've posted that same list more than once on this site over the past two years even having people argue with me that iPhone OS can't be used for any of those devices. It was explained that they wouldn't include CocoaTouch,just the streamlined IPhone OS designed for ARM but I'm not sure that was understood. \

Anyway, I hope the Home Server comes very soon as I think it's the weakest point of Apple's line up. While a revamped AppleTV and a high-capacity router are needed I don't see them as pressing.

I think that due the lack of hardware updates on the Atv it has become rather over priced and underpowered compared to what is now available. I do not think that just because Apple does not sell 1080 content is the reason it has been allowed to stagnate. Instead, I think it is most likely due to external factors. Perhaps pressure from content providers? Whatever the reason I think Atv is going to be an increasingly niche product until they upgrade it. Also sticking with the older hdd style is not doing any favors for the Atv customers.

The idea of a Apple branded media server is something that seems very logical and is puzzling to me as to why they have not made one. I am currently using a mini with 2 external firewire drives as both a Htpc and as a media server. It works well and proves to me that Apple already has the necessary components to make a Media server. Add a custom iphone/ipad style interface for a simplified and easy to use experience would be like mana from heaven.

I am eventually going to have separate the htpc and the media server and it would be nice to have a integrated unit instead of a second mini with a gaggle of external firewire drives. I have been thinking about buying a HP media server but am not quite ready to take the plunge.
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post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And apparently only needs to sell 1.09 million units to equal the total number of tablet computers sold last year.

The iPad is not a tablet computer though, it's a large phone/media player. Phones and media players always outsell tablet computers (especially Apple branded ones).
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

They should be busy along with the PA Semi guys/gals.


Just looking at Apple's current lineup.

We need new designs for

Apple TV

It needs to be synchronized with today's iPhone OS platform. We also need gaming support, Gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth and 1080p support. For Mother Earth's sake please put a power button on as well. Upgrade the HDMI to 1.4 too. Thanks

...
These guys should be busy busy busy.

Second that.
They really have to work on energy efficiency for the ATV. But looking at the iPad Apple could pull it in near future.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

They should be busy along with the PA Semi guys/gals.


Just looking at Apple's current lineup.

We need new designs for

Apple TV

It needs to be synchronized with today's iPhone OS platform. We also need gaming support, Gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth and 1080p support. For Mother Earth's sake please put a power button on as well. Upgrade the HDMI to 1.4 too. Thanks

Airport Extreme/Time Capsule

Only real upgrades I can think about are a third radio for 450Mbps throughput and more bare bones NAS features for the Time Capsule.

I think the next product to use custom designed chips would be

Apple Home Server.

I think it would be an ARM Cortex MP A9 processor running an iPhone OS flavor. It'll sync multiple iTunes accounts to one centralized store and support multiple Time Machine backups. It'll have 4 drive bays and be easy to setup like a Drobo and will support Mobileme 2.0 and feature direct support for a much improved iDisk (which will rival Dropbox)

</raving speculation>

These guys should be busy busy busy.


plus 2
great post

i also dream of a dick tracey simple dumb phone aka NANO video talk talk phone sized device w/ 99 percent cloud coverage
apple can sell 400 million of these cheap phones and all the toys and songs and media and stuff can live on you cloud
and when needed it downloads on the spot
no contacts pre paid minutes
apple farm would give us the bandwidth
itunes would be our central point of all.

not every ones wants or needs a touch or pad or iphone
or can afford one ...
but a wristwatch sized device where you can talk face to face with buddies makes dick treacey come alive

so i present to the world the 256k VIDEO NANO PHONE
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Speculation of Apple purchases have persisted for some time, as Apple has accrued a massive amount of cash and reserves. Earlier this year, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said Apple must "think big" with its massive war chest of $40 billion. The CEO also said that his company would take "big," bold" risks

Here's a "big" and "bold" risk that can go along with another rumour we recently saw... AMD's market cap is ~$6.5bil... They probably don't want to have all that risk.. but it would definitely make for a very interesting development.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

The iPad is not a tablet computer though, it's a large phone/media player. Phones and media players always outsell tablet computers (especially Apple branded ones).

Can we please not have this argument again.

The expanded use of ARM chips sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the expansion of iPhone OS devices. I realize Mac OS and iPhone OS have large similarities & use the same tools for development, but something sounds "wrong" about putting iPhone OS onto devices other than mobile media devices. Couldn't Apple just use a very stripped down Mac OS - isn't that mostly what the ATV uses?

- Jasen.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

Can we please not have this argument again.

The expanded use of ARM chips sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the expansion of iPhone OS devices. I realize Mac OS and iPhone OS have large similarities & use the same tools for development, but something sounds "wrong" about putting iPhone OS onto devices other than mobile media devices. Couldn't Apple just use a very stripped down Mac OS - isn't that mostly what the ATV uses?

- Jasen.

I'm wondering if Apple is going to eventually rebrand the OS itself. It's no longer iPhone OS there's the iPad as well and if the Apple TV gets updated we'll likely see an improved version of "iPhone OS" running there.

I don't think a stripped down Mac OS works because at the core Mac OS is built for multitasking and running multiple windows. Any device that doesn't need to heavily multitask, support legacy software or CLI or leverage a complex window server is probably better suited for iPhone OS.
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post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

The expanded use of ARM chips sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the expansion of iPhone OS devices. I realize Mac OS and iPhone OS have large similarities & use the same tools for development, but something sounds "wrong" about putting iPhone OS onto devices other than mobile media devices. Couldn't Apple just use a very stripped down Mac OS - isn't that mostly what the ATV uses?

- Jasen.

That is what we're talking about. You don't need an Intel CPU to run the AppleTV, AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, or Apple Home Server unless you use Mac OS. It's just overkill for so many reasons.

Mac OS X was slimmed down to be very efficient and lightweight to run on a 400MHz ARM CPU. We're now getting into Corttex-A9 with 1GHZ+ speeds and multiple cores, not to mention easily pushing 1080p from a GPU and having that all work with OpenCL and GCD.

Again, the "iPhone OS" terminology is not stating in any way shape or form that it would have CocoaTouch as a UI. It's exactly what you suggested, "a very stripped down Mac OS". It would actually be closer to Mac OS than the typical iPhone OS because it would need Ethernet and SATA drivers and many other aspects not found in iPhone OS, but it would still be a lot close to iPhone OS than Mac OS, especially since our suggestions are utilizing ARM for processing.

The AppleTV doing use Aqua, it uses BackRow which is pretty much an advanced version of FrontRow found on Mac OS. The OS is pretty much Mac OS with very little tweaking or cleaning up, especially compared to the iPhone or iPad. You can even drop codecs in the QuickTime folder and it will play MKVs, AVIs, WMV, etc. The current AppleTV also uses a specialized 1 GHz Intel Pentium-class CPU, if I recall correctly. It gets very hot and it's not very fast. A new, ARM-based CPU with a proper GPU would offer better performance, a lighter OS would offer faster UI, it wouldn't get nearly as hot and the price would likely be cheaper since Apple can use much of what it use the core elements of the iPad as the base of these system.

For the AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule and Apple Home Server they might not even offer a GPU, not even in AHS. They can offer an app (since they prefer that over using Safari) that uses XCode or even the WebKit framework, like in ITunes, to tie into these devices. I don't know if you've seen Windows Home Server, but it's a pretty nice design for a MS product. HP even has an option on their WHSs to create an HFS+ partition specifically for Time Machine backups.
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