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back to article Apple borgs (alleged) iPad chip designers

Apple has consumed at least part of Intrinsity, a small microprocessor outfit that allegedly designed the chip at the heart of the iPad, according to a report citing the LinkedIn profiles of multiple Intrinsity employees. Last week, EDN reported that Intrinsity had been sold, and guessed that Apple was the buyer. Then on Friday …

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Coat

That's gotta hurt

"But industry rumor indicates that many PA employees - including those who once ran the company - have left following Apple's takeover."

So, apple buys a semi-conductor company to design their future chips. Unfortunately, the "purchased" staff promptly quit, leaving apple to buy their semis from another chip designer who they then go and purchase as well.

So, how long before the intrinsity engineers pull up stumps too?

Maybe they could get together with the PA Semi guys and form a new startup. I hear apple will be looking for someone to design their next generation of chips soon . . . .

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Pirate

Semi take overs

This is exactly why (AFAIK) take overs/mergers in the Semi world don't happen that often, and hostile take overs are very rare. You might buy the company but if the bods there don't welcome their new overloads they walk, taking with them all the know-how and potentially setting up shop over the road with that know-how (depending on their contracts).

This leaves the new owner, having paid a nice take over premium, with a mostly empty building, fixtures/fittings/computers and IP/Patents but with no one who knows properly how the IP works such that the most can be made of it and development can continue.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: That's gotta hurt

Erm, no that's probably normal.

Buy a small start-up and all the investors (employees) will take the cash you've just paid and retire...

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Silver badge

re: That's gotta hurt

It depends what they bought PA for. Did they just want some IP or did they want all the bodies too? Likely Apple only wanted some of the bodies.

PA Semi built a wide range of parts, including military stuff which Apple likely has little interest in. Undoubtedly being part of a business unit not aligned to Apple's future would make you feel rather worried and frustrated. Perhaps the employees that left had nothing to do with producing chips for Apple and left to joiun some other military chip outffit.

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Anonymous Coward

exactly...

>It depends what they bought PA for. Did they just want some IP or did they want all the bodies too?

For the IP, that's tech which can be milked for the next few years - Apple buys in its innovation it doesn't create it.

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FAIL

RE: exactly...

"Apple buys in its innovation it doesn't create it."

You man in the same way Microsoft, Google and everyone else does?

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Agnilux

Keep an eye out for Agnilux!

That's where many of the ax-PASemi guys are going.

For now they're pretty silent, but my guess is that they're onto something interesting. (Or maybe they're just quietly leaking to set the rumours going, so that they can sell to someone else?)

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Paris Hilton

I always wondered...

why Apple bought PA semi... I mean at this stage they'd flipped sides over to intel... PA Semi at this time was predominantly a ppc shop I understand...

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Silver badge
FAIL

re: I always wondered

Indeed yes. PA Semi was a PPC shop, pretty good one too. They got bought by Apple, who promptly killed the PA PPC product line.

Uncle Sam apparently had to have a quiet word in Apple's ear saying that they'd better continue what had already been marketed, or else.

It only ever seemed to make any sense to Apple if they were deciding to jump back to PPC (the chips would have made tremendous sense in a laptop). They haven't, so it looks like the PA Semi buy has been a complete cockup. Apple must have lost $Lots on that deal, and the PA Semi people are probably sniggering all the way to their banks, grateful for Apple's naivety.

As Popup says it seems that the PA semi people are turning up in Agnilux. What's the betting that they spawn some new PowerPC based chip? The military emebedded systems processor niche is wide open at the moment with Freescale not putting an FPU/Altivec in their latest, and Intel not quite being a completely obvious choice just yet. Agnilux may develop a slightly better PPC than Freescale currently have. If so then the military embedded systems market will probably flock gratefully to their door, pleased to not have to re-target to Intel. That was what was starting to happen just as Apple bought PA Semi. Here's to hoping that it doesn't happen again...

Thing is, as I understand it quite a lot of the PA Semi people actually started out in DEC, doing the Alpha et al. They must be getting slightly aged now, so I wonder how many of them are actually contemplating a well earnt retirement?

FAIL, because a fool and its money will soon be parted.

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