Originally Posted by SpamSandwich
Give us your best shot as to why this acquisition makes the most sense to Apple at this time.
I've already done that, but, sure, I'll do it again, and expand upon it.
I have to go back a bit in history to that gpu design firm I've mentioned that Apple bought several years ago.
There was much speculation in the industry, as well as here, that Apple would finally take the lagging gpu Mac development into their own hands, but it never happened.
What did happen is that Apple developed the core technologies instead. My thought on that was that Apple wanted the low level knowledge that these people had about gpu hardware and software. Remember that what Apple had done was never done before, and was, and is, significant. So much so, that MS is copying the entire concept.
I feel that some of that is in this deal as well. Apple wants their expertise remember, not their products. Will Apple really take the risk of the responsibility of an entire chip development platform? I think not. That would involve them developing their own compilers, etc, as well as hardware.
This is VERY expensive these days. Then Apple would have to out-fab this.
Look at the problems AMD is having. What would happen if Apple has problems with a processor line that they will need for their products? That's a tremendous risk. I don't see Apple taking it. With all the experience these people have, doing an ARM would be something they have never done. It doesn't matter that years ago, he was one of the main developers of the ARM, he hasn't done work with it for quite a while, and a lot of water has flowed under that bridge.
Since we have no idea what Apple has been doing with them the past three years, despite all the speculation running around, if anything, things we know nothing about could have been brewing.
Does anyone doubt that Apple has been running the iPhone/itouch development on both the ARM AND the x86 hardware? I don't. I think thats very likely. More than likely.
How soon could Apple have a new Apple-made ARM up and running? A year? Two years?
Do you think that somehow, this small firm has been secretly working on ARMs for a while, to please Apple? Maybe, but it's doubtful. This is a small company, and their PPC product has kept them busy.
I do agree that possibly they could help Apple with some specialized chips. But would that be a good enough reason to buy the entire firm? After all, Apple could contract out with any design firm to help design, and build custom chips that would belong to Apple.
So, one other reason could be to build some custom functions into Intel's chips. We don't know what experience people there have had with x86. It could be just as much as with PPC and ARM. Possibly more than with ARM.
Intel might be open to Apple doing this, if it would get them to use Intel, and move off ARM. After all, the speculation is that Apple may sell tens of millions of phones a year eventually, plus iTouches, and who knows what else. Intel would sure like to get that business!
And while some criticize the Atom as being too power hungry compared to the ARM, well, possibly now that's a problem, but not in a year. Intel has the best fabs, they are ahead of everyone in this area. AMD and IBM have announced their metal gate processes for later this year, or next year, but Intel has been using it for months already. They will be on 32 nm a year ahead of everyone else, and the smaller contract fabs, like Chartered, will take even longer to move to that.
I think that PA will possibly help in that area, as well as others, and Apple can leave it up to Intel to do the heavy lifting.
At least, that's how I see it.