updated 05:40 pm EST, Wed January 6, 2010
Device may use PA Semi processor
Apple is not using Intel hardware in its forthcoming tablet, says an analyst with Northeast Securities. Ashok Kumar claims to have learned the information from Apple's design manufacturing partners, who have discounted notions that the tablet might run an Intel Atom processor. Atom chips are frequently used in sub-notebook devices such as netbooks.
Another analyst suggests that Apple has gone with a chipset from PA Semi, a company acquired by Apple two years ago in a bid to develop mobile hardware. The claim backs a September report from Taiwan's Economic News, and may make sense as a means of coping with a tablet's specialized demands. It remains uncertain if the tablet will be limited to iPhone-like apps or will support some degree of Mac software, which would require Intel compatibility.
If true the analyst information could mark a serious blow for Intel. The tablet is widely expected to become a popular product, easily generating millions of dollars per year for firms supplying parts. Softening the blow for Intel may be the popularity of netbooks, and a host of rival tablets such as those based on Microsoft's Courier platform.