This Is Where P.A. Semi Comes In, Right?
So that “future product transition” Apple’s headed for later this year? The one that will bring with it “state-of-the-art new products that [Apple's] competitors just aren’t going to be able to match”? It’s looking more and more like it may involve a new chipset–possibly even an internally developed one. AppleInsider reports that Cupertino will forgo Intel’s (INTC) new Montevina chipset in its next-generation portables in favor of another that will further differentiate them from rivals. The publication offers no real details beyond that, so it’s not clear exactly what Apple may be up to.
It’s worth noting, though, that this particular rumor follows relatively close on the heels of Apple’s April acquisition of P.A. Semi, a boutique semiconductor design company that specializes in super-low-power processors. In early 2007, P.A. Semi debuted a 64-bit dual core microprocessor that the company claimed is 300 percent more efficient than any comparable chip; it consumed only 5 to 13 watts running at 2 gigahertz. That was well over a year ago–who knows what they’ve come up with since then?
So maybe Apple (AAPL) is forgoing Montevina in favor of a P.A. Semi-designed chipset. Perhaps we’re nearing the moment when Apple begins pushing its own processor innovations out into the market in concert with those it makes in hardware and software.
Or, perhaps not.