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PA Semi team working on next-gen iPhone CPU

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon September 15, 2008

PA Semi Preps iPhone ARM

The staff of Apple's recently acquired PA Semiconductor are working on a new, internally developed ARM processor for the iPhone, the LinkedIn profile former PA Semi senior manager Wei-han Lien has revealed. Although now changed to abstract his work, the entry at the job connection website has slipped that he is now managing an ARM architecture team at Apple working specifically on the iPhone. The news not only suggests that a self-made design will replace the Samsung chip but that Apple has no immediate plans to use Intel's Atom processor in its smallest handhelds.

The news also supports earlier evidence that ARM has given a license to Apple. The group, which is responsible for managing the mobile processor architecture announced a licensee in late July which was uncharacteristically secretive and referenced only a company that likes to have more control over its hardware.

It's unclear whether other PA Semi transfers will be developing for other mobile devices or for Macs. Speculation surfaced immediately after the takeover that PA Semi's expertise would be used for a custom computer platform but has not been substantiated since the official announcement. [via New York Times]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. winterspan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    +1

    Atom?

    An Intel Atom version that is a SoC applicable to smartphone devices like the iPhone is nowhere to be seen. It will most likely have to wait until the 32nm node coming in another 18-months before Intel will have anything that will be available to remotely compete with a current-generation ARM SoC, and even then I don't know.

    ARM already has a next-generation SoC core (ARM Cortex-A8/A9) that is 3x faster than the iPhone's ARM11 with the same power usage. Intel is going to have a tough time competing with that level of performance and power efficiency.



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