Apple Snatches Up Intrinsity for ARM CPU Design

When Apple debuted the iPad earlier this year, Steve Jobs announced that the A4 CPU was a custom job made specifically for the new tablet device. Upon closer inspection, including some pretty crafty teardowns, it was revealed that it was a custom package-on-package ARM with integrated memory and GPU.

It's now revealed by the New York Times that Apple has purchased the chip firm that many believe to be responsible for some of the A4's design – Intrinsity of Austin, Tex.

While neither Apple nor Intrinsity are commenting on the deal, analysts estimate that the deal was worth around $121 million.

Together with PA Semi, Apple has amassed a considerable amount of CPU talent – no doubt with the intention to focus more heavily on in-house development of technology that its competitors can't have.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • babybeluga
    Apple says, "Nom Nom Nom!"
  • RazberyBandit
    The original rumors of Apple buying ARM weren't too far off... But instead of buying ARM Holdings, it was the ARM-based processor maker responsible for the A4's speed advantage that Apple was actually after.
  • tayb
    Smart move by Apple.
  • Ragnar-Kon
    babybelugaApple says, "Nom Nom Nom!"Haha, so true.

    And yep, smart move by Apple.
  • dman3k
    So I guess we'll be seeing texans thrown of roofs pretty soon.
  • pojih
    vertical monopoly!
  • Judguh
    So what was the point of AMD going in to talk with Apple?
  • figgus
    JudguhSo what was the point of AMD going in to talk with Apple?
    I doubt they will be using ARM processors in their MacBooks...
  • jecastej
    Apple and AMD. I think It has to do with next generation CPUs from AMD being very cool and low power and that is something Apple may be interested for their mobile line, maybe new entry level Mac Books. Also about powerful integrated GPUs and even the chipset. Everything!

    Also, 121 millions can't compare to 6 billions on the speculation about ARM acquisition from Apple. But obviously Apple is interested in investing further in ARM chip development.
  • schmich
    What a shame for the consumer. This is mainly to close Intrisity's great minds from the competition. Today, the Hummingbird (which was worked on together with Samsung) can be bought by anyone and has much better graphics capabilities than the Snapdragon.