Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Reports Say Apple May Manufacture Its Own Chips

Comments Filter:
  • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:46PM (#27777629) Homepage Journal
    I don't think anybody has seriously suggested that Apple is planning to build their own fab.
  • by Cutie Pi (588366) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:47PM (#27777643)

    There's a big difference between manufacturing a chip and designing one. Unless Apple suddenly acquires the capital and know how to run a fab, manufacturing is best left to foundries like TSMC.

    I'd even be surprised if they did the design completely in-house. Most likely it would be a collaborative effort with an already established low-power design house like ARM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuantumRiff (120817)

      Course, people were saying the same thing about manufacturing laptop cases, like out of single blocks of aluminum.

      Steve jobs seems to get a hard on from fully automated factories. The NEXT factory could produce thousands of computers a week, with a handful of employees.. (they could just never sell that many)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'd guess there's at least a few billion dollars difference between a reasonably up-to-date fab and the people/infrastructure it requires, and what is required to cast and CNC chunks of metal (unless it's something like sub propellers). If Apple was throwing around that kind of cash it wouldn't be a secret.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EMB Numbers (934125)

      You mean "an already established low-power design house like" PAsemi http://www.forbes.com/2008/04/23/apple-buys-pasemi-tech-ebiz-cz_eb_0422apple.html [forbes.com]

    • by cabjf (710106) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:32PM (#27778271)
      I'm willing to bet they have enough know-how available to do the design in-house. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PA_semi [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      I'd even be surprised if they did the design completely in-house. Most likely it would be a collaborative effort with an already established low-power design house like ARM.

      Yes, if only Apple bought out a chip design company [slashdot.org]. Then maybe they could design their own chips.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I agree on the fab side unless they have a few extra billion laying around, but they could go hire people with chip design experience and move that in house.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Not necessarily. These days, when you make a CPU for some type of embedded application (like a mobile device), you don't design an entirely new CPU core. You just take an off-the-shelf core, like an ARM or PPC, and then create a SoC (system on chip) using that. The core stays the same, whether it's an ARM9 or ARM11 or PPC e300 or PPC e500, but all the other stuff on the chip is different, and specific to its application. If it's for something like an iPhone, it probably has a logic block that controls t

  • by ravenspear (756059) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:47PM (#27777647)
    It was actually revealed that their real motivation behind the Apple team's efforts is to build an uber sophisticated intelligent computer system capable of downloading Steve Jobs' brain in case he becomes too ill to continue his role as RDF overlor...er...CEO.
  • by nlawalker (804108) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:55PM (#27777749)

    Looks like the Apple Product Cycle [misterbg.org] may have to be revised slightly.

  • by gravesb (967413) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:57PM (#27777785) Homepage
    The WSJ story talked about how Apple had designed a variant already, but were unhappy that so much design was being sold to other companies. It looks like they want to design their own extension of the ARM and gain a real competitive advantage. Certain aspects include better power consumption, network interface, handwriting recognition, and more horsepower. There is some speculation that it will also bleed over to the desktop design. Maybe they are getting tired of using commodity hardware and want to differentiate themselves from Dell.
    • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:26PM (#27778161)

      Yes, at last Apple will step out from under Dell's shadow!

    • Maybe they are getting tired of using commodity hardware and want to differentiate themselves from Dell.

      And that's why they dropped PowerPC in favor of Intel's chips? I don't think so.

      • by cabjf (710106) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:45PM (#27778535)
        No, they dropped PowerPC because IBM couldn't keep up with producing faster chips and lower power envelopes (for laptops). Remember, they were never able to stuff a G5 into a Powerbook. I doubt it had anything to do with whether the hardware was "commodity" or not.
        • by jcr (53032) <jcr@[ ].com ['mac' in gap]> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @06:06PM (#27779783) Journal

          SJ stood on a stage a promised a 3GHZ G5 in one year (because IBM had promised it to Apple), and IBM let him down. That, together with IBM's decision not to develop a low-power G5 suitable for laptops is what closed the book on Apple's PPC machines.

          They switched to Intel instead of AMD because they had had quite enough of vendor disappointments. AMD was a far riskier prospect.

          -jcr

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            They switched to Intel instead of AMD because they had had quite enough of vendor disappointments. AMD was a far riskier prospect.

            AMD was not a riskier prospect, AMD was a backup plan while intel was the lowest bidder. Or, so I would speculate. Remember, this was a time when it had become clear that AMD could be taken seriously. A friend of mine has an Athlon 64 laptop from back when that was a new idea; it's still one of her best machines. (I helped her pick it out, at Best Buy... on clearance. But I wouldn't expect many savvy customers there anyway. IIRC it was around $900 with 1GB memory and maybe 60 or 80GB disk and I think the po

            • by jcr (53032)

              AMD was not a riskier prospect, AMD was a backup plan while intel was the lowest bidder. Or, so I would speculate.

              Your speculation is wrong. AMD had arguably better parts; Apple didn't choose them because they weren't confident in AMDs ability to maintain their performance edge over Intel, or deliver sufficient quantities to meet Apple's schedules. They weren't about to go through all the pain of switching to land right back in the same situation they'd had with IBM.

              -jcr

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          They also don't seem to be able to stuff a quad-core into a Macbook...

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      THIS is what it takes to get flash running on ARM?

      Sheesh. Next thing, you'll be telling there's an IWM in the next iMac... harrr....

  • http://www.misterbg.org/AppleProductCycle/ [misterbg.org]
    Should we even be falling for this stuff anymore?
  • Apple chips (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:03PM (#27777873) Journal

    What kind of dip goes with that?

  • May? MAY??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gordguide (307383) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:10PM (#27777933)

    " ... Reports Say Apple May Manufacture Its Own Chips ..."

    " ... "PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, according to The New York Times during Apple's June 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference. ..."

    From the Horse's Mouth, 9 months ago, announced publicly at the WDC. I think I would be going with " ... will manufacture it's own chips ..." since that's what they said they would be doing, right out loud in front of God and everybody.

  • by MarkEst1973 (769601) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:13PM (#27777973)
    They already own a chip maker [forbes.com]. That bit of news was from last year. It shouldn't surprise you today that they plan on actually using the chipmaker they bought.
  • Title correction... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by burnin1965 (535071) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:18PM (#27778037) Homepage

    Reports Say Apple May DESIGN Its Own Chips

    The objective likely to be more proprietary enhancements [engadget.com] to their product lines that require licensing and royalties from secondary vendors who wish to manufacture and sell peripherals and products to work with Apple products. Its all about building monopolies, U.S. businesses believe competition is a bad thing.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:19PM (#27778045)
    It's already been done. Pictures of the new chips are available here [taquitos.net] and here [taquitos.net]
  • Not newsworthy. Apple fanboys play telephone [wikipedia.org] more creatively than anybody this side of John Dvorak.

  • They had bought Transmeta (or, more recently, Sun) - Both have world class low-power technology. At least Oracle will make good data centre use of that. (I hope.)

  • They're great with yogurt.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

Working...