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back to article Apple chucks PA Semi at Jesus Phone

Steve Jobs has admitted that Apple will design its very own super-chips for both the iPhone and the iPod. Earlier this week, after his keynote speech at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco, Jobs slipped a few extra words to The New York Times, and at one point - while describing his grand plan to reinvent the …

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Jobs Horns

Typical

And then we will have the whole PowerPC "we've realised that being the loner in the corner is bad, so we're switching to a funky new applemactastic platform. (small print: re-buy everything! yay for profits!)" debacle.

Seriously, ARM chips are good. No need for integration. No doubt they'll find a bug in their firmware, as it would be, and then lock the jesusphone until you have the chips upgraded. For a small labour charge of £120. If you don't want samsung to make your POC, then use prefab ARM chips in your own mactarded production line!

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Apple will use PA Semi SoC Technology

It so happens that Samsung is also a PowerPC licensee! It might be interesting to read about SoC in a 7-year old article http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/5009

Henry Keultjes

Microdyne Company

Mansfield Ohio USA

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Jobs Halo

Sounds reasonable to me..

Apple/PA doesn't need to design its own processors as such; ARM's whole business is about selling processor core designs for its customers who integrate these cores with other more specialist logic to form the final chip.

Apple, with PA's expertise, will take these building blocks and combine them to produce the exact mix of facilities that they feel their products require - allowing the products to be made smaller and more power efficient as a result.

Once they've pulled together a design; they will find someone to actually fabricate it for them.

All very sensible.

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Bronze badge

What Jobs did Not Say

Buying PA Semi to build a slightly lower power ARM sounds to me like an expensive way to get a lower power ARM. Whilst PA Semi have worked wonders with getting a meaty pair of PowerPC cores to run on only a few Watts, there's not really as much to be gained in reducing the consumption of existing ARMs.

Buying PA Semi to make a customised ARM sounds like an expensive way to get a customised ARM. A big customer like Apple could easily get any outfit like Samsung to efficiently fabricate any kind of customised ARM they want.

Buying PA Semi to get a customised PowerPC sounds like a cheap way to get a customised PowerPC. ARM is great, but PowerPC is capable of dwarfing it in terms of compute power. I think Apple want more compute grunt than can be achieved with an ARM. I think that they've decided on PA Semi's latest as their starting point. They'll strip out one of the cores and other bits. They'll slow it down to save power (it can already dynamically clock down to only a few 100 MHz). They'll shove on a few peripherals useful for a phone/iPod. That would have to mean that Apple don't like the look of Intel's Atom for some reason or other.

Big question - does an iPhone need more compute grunt? (not tried one).

Apple are beginning to separate the PowerPC & x86 builds of OSX. Perhaps this is preparatory to putting a more complete install of OSX on an iPhone rather than a means to save on disk space on a bloaty Intel MAC.

Getting whacky now - remember those in-phone video projectors shown off earlier in the year? Apple aren't thinking of shoving one of those in an iPhone with a PA Semi PowerPC and running a more complete OSX on it and selling it as a laptop replacement are they? They'd have to call that the Macbook Hydrogen.

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Coat

Dan Dobberpuhl, lead designer ...

Hmmm - chips built using the element lead (pb) - an interesting although possibly heavy and toxic concept. Who knew this was going on?

No coat, thanks - I travel light.

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Jobs Horns

Re: Apple will use PA Semi SoC Technology

To be most exact Samsung has a license for nearly every CPU/SoC under the sun. Besides Arm and PPC it is also an Alpha and MIPS licensee. So whichever way Apple turns it may still end up fabbing them with Samsung. It can do it for everything but Intel./x86 based designs.

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Stop

Jesus??

I'm not aware of this "Jesus" phone, wassat??

Ohh.. you mean the iPhone, I get it, you call it that because its been crucified by those who don't understand it and fear change, right?

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Jobs Halo

i18n

Brothers and sisters, let us embrace this global technology. The Jesus Phone showed us the way to religion, but the 3G model can support multiple simultaneous deities. We are delighted to communicate with users of the Mohammed Phone, the Vishnu Phone, the Buddha Phone, the Zeus Phone and (selling out fast) the David Icke Phone. And with the new Sanctification & Divinity Kit (SDK) we look forward to welcoming other new religions to the world.

Rev. Trellace., Preacher, First Church of St. Jobs

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Isn't this what did the X-Box 360 in?

Will Apple design their own red ring of death?

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Anonymous Coward

Reg. analysis...

An online rag called "The Register" ran an analysis on Apples purchase of PA Semi a bit back....

Ah yes, here it is:-

"Only insanity would lead Apple to make a mobile chip play"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/23/apple_pasemi/

"Even if PA Semi had a proper mobile part working in the labs, Apple would be gambling its entire iPhone business by picking the processor."

"Should Apple really think it can perform magic and turn the PA Semi gear into the base of future iPhones, then we're rather worried for the company."

So, you're saying "Sell Apple!"?

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Dead Vulture

About the new Jesus Phone

I was curious as to why the iPhone is called the Jesus Phone. So I googled it, and I encountered this video:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/08/3-weeks-until-the-iphone-goes-on-sale/

I've often wanted to learn how to do computer video work. I guess that I missed my, erm, calling...

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jai
Silver badge

re: Reg analysis...

they also did an analysis on how badly the iPhone would fail as a product:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/23/iphone_will_fail/

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Flame

Apple the new Microsoft??

My gut feeling with with taking chip production in house, is that they are going to screw up in a similar way to Microsoft with the original Xbox360 chip sets.

All of this xbox360 red ring of death business is down to the gpu overheating which many believe is down to the cheap, Microsoft-designed gpus.

Apple are a software company not a hardware company just like Microsoft. Chipsets are insanely difficult to perfect and take years of many peoples experience and expertise. You don't see HTC or Sony making there own chips in house and there's a reason for that!

so Apple I think your going to shoot yourself in the foot with this, but saying that I thought the same about the original iphone and its lack of features.....

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@Henry Cobb

beat me to it!

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Flame

Re:What Jobs did Not Say

... Surely you mean the Macbook Oxygen... or should that be o2?? hmmm...

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Gold badge

Re: Typical

>Seriously, ARM chips are good. No need for integration

They may be, but are you saying competition doesn't improve anything?

Did the AMD Athlon and AMD Athlon 64 force Intel to get off their behinds and produce a decent CPU?

The P4 was rubbish, the competition from AMD focussed Intel on producing a good CPU and they got there with the Core 2 Duo.

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Anonymous Coward

@jai

You can see why they're so bitter about it.. ;)

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Tom
Coat

Jesus, a semi?

Well the iPhone has been giving Apple fan-boys Semis for a while now - it's about time another Semi gave them something in return.

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Paris Hilton

@Alex Cee

Actually, Apple have a pretty long history of designing their own in-house chips. And very good they were too, working with VLSI on application specific ICs (ASICs) throught the 80s and 90s.

Admittedly, this has pretty much fallen by the wayside with the availability of cheap general purpose chips; but even as late as the 90s Apple were designing custom SCSI, audi, and graphics chips.

When Acorn spun off ARM (Acorn RISC Machine, a nice recursive acronym there!), Apple and VLSI were a couple of the original investors.

And anyway, the reason Apple bought PA Semi is exactly because designing new ICs is 'insanely difficult'. Apple got all the insanely clever employees of PA Semi too. And they *can* design a chipset!

While I agree that HTC don't design any chips, maybe you ought to take another look at Sony. Aside from a bunch of custome ASICs for their home electronics divisions, Sony (along with Toshiba and IBM) where responsible for designing the Cell chip. You may have heard of that...

Paris, 'cos she likes mayo with her chips...

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Black Helicopters

Mising the Point!

You are all missing the point. Don't forget that PA Semi supplies chips for military use. This is obviously part of Apples plan to take over the world by using hordes of iPhone zombies to execute remote launches of military grade weaponry on all who would doubt the mighty power of the Apple!

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Silver badge
Stop

Why do people keep insisting that Apple are a software company?

Apple are a hardware company, pure and simple.

True, they do create great software but it's also true that they go to great lengths to ensure that it only runs on their hardware, a sure sign that they are interested in selling hardware and NOT software, If they wanted to be a software company then I would be able to buy a copy of MacOSX and run it on my PC.

Apple have long seen Sony as their primary competitor. Up until the nineties, Sony products where THE products to own in the A/V market. Apple took it on themselves to take that position from Sony, and (with a lot of help from Sony) have pretty much succeeded in doing that.

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Go

That should work.

@everybody who thinks PPC chips in mobile devices are a bad idea, Motorola have been using them for that since the mid 90s.

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@Alex Cee

microsoft designed GPU? microsoft couldnt design anything like that. its just your bog standard ATi xenos fare. designed by ATI engineers over in Canada

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