Samsung a major buyer, also supplier of chips
Apple is by far the largest buyer of all kinds of microprocessors, buying 50 percent more RAM, processor and other chips than any other company, with its appetite having tripled since 2009 due to the success of its iOS devices (and to a lesser extent its growing Mac business). At an industry conference, IHS iSuppli researcher Dale Ford said that the company will buy $27 billion worth of chips, up from $9B in 2009.
Market still feeling effects of Thai floods
Although the floodwaters have receded in Thailand, the disaster is still said to be affecting supply chains in the tech industry. Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson suggests Intel has been forced to stockpile its microprocessors as a "direct result" of the hard drive shortages that resulted from flooded factories located in Thailand.
Tech promises up to 100 separate layers
IBM and 3M are reportedly collaborating to develop new adhesives that will be designed for layered microprocessors. The stacked technology, which could be composed of up to 100 separate layers, is said to be geared for enterprise equipment, such as servers, or consumer electronics such as computers, smartphones, tablets or gaming devices.
New Via Nano chips coming
Chip manufacturer VIA will begin sampling a dual-core version of its Nano CPU in the second half of 2009 and shipping the next-generation processor in volume in late 2009 or early 2010, slightly earlier than previous a roadmap leak indicated. Like rival AMD which recently outlined new Atom-competitors, VIA's X86-compatible Nano chips debuted in May to compete with Intel's Atom and lower-end Celeron M chips. VIA hopes to stem the growing adoption of Intel's Atom processor (and dual-core nettop PC variant); VIA, the report says, expects to deliver samples ahead of the previously reported June 2010 launch. Digitimes reports that the new dual-core Nano chips will arrive before the end of the first quarter of 2010, while a next-generation SSE4-enabled Nano CPU will arrive in the third quarter of 2009.
PA Semi's PowerPC chips
Apple will reportedly offer legacy support for PA Semi's line of PowerPC-based processors following pressure from the government and clearing up rumors that surfaced after the chipmaker's acquisition by Apple last month. In effort to continue to push the chip power efficiency envelope, the Cupertino-based company purchased the microprocessor design company for nearly $300 million, but reports following the announcement said that the US Defense Department may have objected if Apple discontinued support for its current chips that are used in a wide variety of military devices, but are not used in Apple's current generation products (PowerPC chips were used by Apple before its transition to the Intel architecture almost three years ago). The Register says that the government may have pressured Apple into supporting the current PowerPC-chip design and PA Semi's customers.