What makes your iPad tick, Apple?
Apple made a huge splash yesterday when it announced the iPad. Even bigger but way less reported news was Steve Jobs' casual mentioning that Apple had used its own processor in the device. The 1GHz Apple A4 represents Apple's first ever processor and is the fruit of a PA Semi purchase in 2008.
However, it seems the A4 has a lot in common with Nvidia's Tegra 2; in fact, the Bright Side of News reports that the SOC is all ARM and lambastes Steve Jobs for implying Apple or even PA Semi had anything to do with the creation of the A4 at all.
Steve Jobs incorrectly addressed Apple A4 as a CPU. We're not sure was this to keep the mainstream press enthused, but A4 is not a CPU. Or we should say, it's not just a CPU. Nor did PA Semi/Apple had anything to do with the creation of the CPU component. A4 is a System-on-a-Chip, or SOC, that integrates the main processor [ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore i.e. Multi-Processing Core, identical to ones used in nVidia Tegra and Qualcomm Snapdragon] with graphics silicon [ARM Mali 50-Series GPU], and other functions like the memory controller on one piece of silicon.
Bright Side explains that last June, during the GlobalFoundries event in Las Vegas, the site sat down with Warren East, CEO of ARM. One of the things they discussed was "a new member of the family," which we now know was Apple.