Apple 'to design own computer chips'

April 30, 2009
Apple is building the capability to design its own computer chips in a strategic shift aimed at cutting its reliance on outside suppliers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Apple is building the capability to design its own computer chips in a strategic shift aimed at cutting its reliance on outside suppliers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The newspaper, citing people familar with Apple's plans, said the iconic California company hopes the move will lead to exclusive features for its popular gadgets and shield Apple's work from rivals.

The Journal said has been hiring new employees from the , including engineers to create multifunction chips that are used in cellphones.

Among the new hires, the newspaper said were two former employees of maker Advanced Micro Devices.

It said Apple could use the internally developed chips to reduce the power consumption of its iPhone and iPod touch devices, and possibly add graphics circuitry to play realistic game software and high-definition videos.

The Journal said internally designed chips were not expected to emerge from Apple until next year at the earliest.

The newspaper noted that Apple's strategy runs counter to the trend among most big electronics companies to outsource the development of chips and other components to external suppliers.

Apple last year purchased microchip designer P.A. Semi and the Journal said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs told employees of the Silicon Valley start-up at the time that Apple wanted to develop chips internally.

(c) 2009 AFP

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6 comments

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sex_doctor
2.5 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2009
It makes perfect sense. This way Apple will guarantee the quality of their products. Developing good hardware is as big of a challenge as developing good software if not bigger.
docknowledge
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2009
It's a tactic that Hewlett-Packard tried in the 1970s and 1980s. A reason that their chip-making was eventually scaled back is that even though the chips were custom and very good quality, eventually generic chips became so much cheaper, it was more cost effective to use two or three of them to duplicate the custom chip's function.

With Apple, there's probably not the option to take up all that space? Or perhaps they have some very tricky things up their sleeves they don't wish to advertise whatsoever.
sex_doctor
1.3 / 5 (3) Apr 30, 2009
These days memory is cheaper than ever. I do not see why every device provides their own software. No more install DVDs. Just plug your device and it will automatically set itself or install the drivers on the host system. IPhone is the perfect example that there is a combination of software hardware to have a successful product in the stores. Anyway developing hardware is fun and I do not see how software can be without hardware. Hardware is poised to evolve.
Fazer
4 / 5 (1) Apr 30, 2009
Seeing as though they have an affinity for filing patents, perhaps what they want to do is design their own chips, then farm the production out to other companies who might be able to mass produce the chips at a lower cost than Apple.

They could then keep the technologies to themselves, or license them out, or even allow these 2nd party companies to sell the actual chips on the open market and make royalties on those sales.
phystic
not rated yet May 01, 2009
well.... if GrandCentral in 10.6 is as integrated as it can be, allowing for much of the main CPU work to be moved from the CPU, then I guess tactics like this might play even more-so into such a strategy. Interesting move though, here's to GrandCentral being at least as properly implemented as CUDA.
legonadir
1 / 5 (1) May 08, 2009
Great their own chips that only decode shit dled from itunes.

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