Following rumors earlier this month that it was acquiring mobile chip company Intrinsity, Apple confirmed the deal to The New York Times today.
Apple declined to discuss the reasons for the acquisition, but it seems like part of a larger effort to move more of the design and manufacture of its products inside the company. The A4 chip in the iPad was the first big example of that, and there’s speculation that Intrinsity’s chip was “the basis” for the A4, according to The Times. (Presumably, technology from PA Semi, a chip company that Apple acquired in 2008, also played a role.) The acquisition should help Apple expand its chip efforts to other devices like the iPhone.
In addition to giving Apple more control over the process, moving work in-house allows the company to be even more secretive than it is already, since it won’t have to worry about pesky leaks coming from partner businesses, as TechCrunch’s MG Siegler points out. Of course, the most recent leak, where an Apple engineer left an iPhone prototype at a bar, can’t be laid at the feet of partners.
Another set of rumors in the last few weeks had Apple acquiring chip maker ARM, but ARM chief executive Warren East has denied that. Meanwhile, Google has been doing some buying of its own, with the acquisition of Agnilux, founded by defectors from PA Semi.
Tom Halfhill, an analyst with Microprocessor Report, told The Times that “he believes” the acquisition price was $121 million.
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