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Apple debuts in IC market with PA Semi buyout

Posted: 25 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IC market? Apple acquisition? microprocessor?

Making an entry in the IC business, Apple Inc. has acquired embedded microprocessor supplier PA Semi Inc. for $278 million in cash, according to Forbes.

It's unclear what Apple will do with PA Semi, but the report indicates that the computer maker will target the chipmaker's product for the iPhone or other systems.

PA Semi was established in 2003 by industry veterans to develop a high-performance, low-power processor family. PA Semi is headed by Dan Dobberpuhl, the acclaimed lead designer of the DEC Alpha series of microprocessors, StrongARM microprocessor, and the first multicore SoC with the SiByte 1250.

Last year, PA Semi shipped chip samples that demonstrate its claim of taking the PowerPC architecture's power consumption to new lows for a range of embedded markets. Apple may use the company's technology in for its Apple TV.

"PA Semi would be great for high-end embedded applications," said Loring Wirbel, director of the EE Times market intelligence unit. "The PA-Apple relationship is no surprise. Apple considered acquiring the company in 2005. Now, PA Semi is a company that is shipping silicon to a variety of customers. It seems wrong to take it off the market at this phase of the gamethough it wouldn't be the first time an OEM has taken a chip or software company off the market. Cisco is a repeat offender."

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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