We already know that Steve Jobs is on the verge of being a control freak, so the news coming from Forbes today that Apple has agreed to purchase a microprocessor design company makes sense. The company is P.A. Semi, and it’s rumored that Apple is willing to spend $278 million dollars in cash to acquire them. So what would Apple want with a microprocessor design company? Well considering they’re known for their sophisticated, low-power chips, Apple could use their chips for use in future iPhones or iPods.
Apple confirmed that they had in fact purchased the company but wouldn’t go into any details of what they plan to do with them. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling was quoted as saying, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purposes and plans.” With a microprocessor design company in-house, Apple has more control over over the hardware that goes into their devices and ultimately, it could save the some money and give them the opportunity to include the best possible processor with iPhones or iPods.
This buy probably didn’t make Intel or ARM to happy because Apple uses Intel for their Mac computers and ARM currently for the iPhone. The fact that Apple acquired P.A. Semi is pretty big for the company of 150 employees. Regarding the history between the two companies, Gizmodo says:
Historically, P.A. Semi was trying to be the chip provider for Macs around the time they chose to go for Intel, and it is reported that Dobberpuhl was furious when they went x86, thinking the Intel talks were just a bargaining chip. Some think that P.A. Semi lost its chance to be a brand name like AMD or Intel, but clearly, being under the brand name of Apple isn’t half bad.
P.A. Semi says that their chips are “300% more efficient than any comparable chips,” so they just might be a great buy for Apple.