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Report: Apple Using PA Semi Chip in Tablet

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments

VentureBeat yesterday reported that the processor for this machine will not, as most people assumed, be Intel's Atom processor, rather it will be designed by Apple's own chip team.

Remember Apple's acquisition of PA Semi last April? Since then, we've heard very little about Apple's plans for the chip company. We knew the chip team Apple had gained in the acquisition was designing ARM-based CPUs for iPhones and iPods, but aside from that, there has been little information on Apple's dealings with PA Semi.

VB cites an anonymous source who claims that while one half of the PA Semi team was designing chips for the iPhone and iPod, the other half was designing a processor for the tablet device.

For more about Apple's tablet check out yesterday's article or click here to read the full VB report.

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  • 2 Hide
    doc70 , July 14, 2009 5:10 PM
    ..."one half of the PA Semi team was designing chips for the iPhone and iPod, the other half was designing a processor for the tablet device"...

    hello... that's why it's called PA Semi.... ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    lifelesspoet , July 14, 2009 5:14 PM
    I've been waiting almost a year for a quality mobile computer with an arm processor. I was hoping for a netbook form factor. Tablets are niche markets for surveyors and delivery companies, I would much prefer a keyboard.
    I can't imagine apple putting this out without handwriting recognition and the ability to run the profitable arm based app store on the platrom.
  • 2 Hide
    bfstev , July 14, 2009 5:37 PM
    wouldn't this be more of a MID then? I mean they had transitioned OSX to x86 so it obviously wont be running (snow)leopard unless they have an ARM port of it.

    Unless this tablet device is just an oversized ipod touch
  • 0 Hide
    mcnuggetofdeath , July 14, 2009 6:09 PM
    I remembering reading that there would be an edition of Windows 7 that ran using an ARM chip, but that it was only being distributed in "developing" markets. I see no reason that Apple wouldnt do the same thing. If its really $800 dollars i might just pick it up and put it in a dual boot with Sabayon Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 14, 2009 6:27 PM
    lifelesspoetI've been waiting almost a year for a quality mobile computer with an arm processor. I was hoping for a netbook form factor. Tablets are niche markets for surveyors and delivery companies, I would much prefer a keyboard. I can't imagine apple putting this out without handwriting recognition and the ability to run the profitable arm based app store on the platrom.


    Check out chippy's site @ umpcportal.com , there are some devices out for a couple of months already with an ARM processor.
  • 2 Hide
    scook9 , July 14, 2009 7:08 PM
    i see this simply being an oversized iPod touch....same OS same hardware...same everything just bigger.
  • 0 Hide
    ckiraly , July 14, 2009 7:21 PM
    yeah and didn't Apple buy that cold-fusion start-up to power their future products?
  • 0 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , July 14, 2009 7:57 PM
    bfstevwouldn't this be more of a MID then? I mean they had transitioned OSX to x86 so it obviously wont be running (snow)leopard unless they have an ARM port of it.Unless this tablet device is just an oversized ipod touch


    Apple is very well equipped to be able to handle OSs running on different chips. They've migrated from 680x0 to PowerPC and from PowerPC to x86. Rosetta worked amazingly well at running PPC code on x86 machines. As a result of all this, it would be relatively trivial for Apple to expand the "Universal Binary" moniker to compile Xcode stuff for x86, PowerPC and ARM. Of course, Intel specific software wouldn't work but anything else would be fine.

    I would still far rather they put an x86 processor - mind you, for all we know, Apple could have licensed some x86 hardware from Intel...
  • 0 Hide
    andy_newton , July 15, 2009 3:01 AM
    @bfstev:

    While capable of manufacturing its own chips, Apple is currently the only PC (Mac) manufacturer who is exclusive to Intel for its x86 chip based products. It will be dumb for intel to license it to Apple and turn them into another "AMD."