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back to article Apple thinks Intel is fab?

Apple is considering switching its iOS device silicon supply from Samsung to Intel. The switch would complete Intel’s dominance in Cupertino, according to a report in EE Times The article quotes analyst firm Piper Jaffray & Co as saying: “Intel is vying for Apple’s foundry business”. Analyst Gus Richard said the move would make …

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Jobs Horns

Aww...

Apple and Samsung aren't friends any more... isn't that precious?

On the other hand, does this mean intel are interested in getting back into the ARM business? Could be interesting times ahead.

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I'd venture ..

it would be Intel fab expertise and nVidia's ARM license at play here , not Intel getting into ARM design .. at least this is what I took to be part of the possibilities when nVidia and Intel settled

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nVidia? Why?

Apple have an ARM license, Intel probably have one as well. I may be mistaken but weren't they involved in StrongARM at some point?

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Anonymous Coward

abc123

>Intel probably have one as well.

Probably many as they are embedded in all sorts of networking gear, but be careful not to assume that "an ARM licence" = "all ARM licences", I have a Haynes manual for a VW Campervan, but that doesn't mean I can build you a Golf

>I may be mistaken but weren't they involved in StrongARM at some point?

They got it from Digital, put it on the shelf till it was old, then sold it into PDAs, then spun a new design called xScale, then sold that design to another company when it looked like they might be competing with themselves and officially went to war with ARM. So kinda yes, but not in a way that is relevant. But you know, it's just switches and tube so I don't see why Intel would have any more trouble with an ARM design than any other piece of custom hardware.

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Anonymous Coward

Were, not any more

intel bought StrongARM from DEC, let it stagnate, then sold it to Marvell a few years back. They haven't done anything public with ARM since.

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Silver badge

Strong ARM

They sold most of it to Marvell. But I think kept a communications processor.

It was later versions of StrongARM, the PXA series mostly they sold. Marvell is doing well with ARM stuff. Even some PC Mobo Ethernet/SATA combo chips are actually Marvell ARM.

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nVidia because ..

1. Intel didn't pay $1.3 billion IIRC, just for cross-patent settlement .. it's for mutual co-operation

2. nVidia's GraphicsPU and GeneralPU designs are better than Intel's, and you'll soon see, if it's not already happening, nVidia graphics chips replacing Intel even on Intel's motherboards and will be the future reference, IMO

3. nVidia gets Intel's fab expertise and great relationship with the foundries

4. This ties in the better name of nVidia, IMO, to Intel in a better way than AMD absorbing ATI and deluting the ATI brand .. certainly both gain a bit more advantage, market-wise in this.

(personally, as a gamer, I've preferred nVidia over ATI since 2001)

5. True, Apple has an ARM license, so does nVidia .. Apple won't let Intel use it's ARM license for other Smartphone chip development I'd wager .. nVidia will

just seems to me to be the bigger picture

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J 3
Joke

Er...

What happened to the olden days of the "Intel inside, idiot outside" stickers!?

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Coat

Still exists....

Just in the shame of a semi-round fruit with a stem....

/sorry, had to.

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Silver badge

Somewhat surprised

Here I'd figure Apple would be suing Intel over the latest line of "i" series processors. How can anyone but Apple have an i-device?

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Foundry?

Does Intel currently fab any non-Intel chippery?

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yeah

This is a bit like the Microsoft will port NE to QNX argument - Intel doesn't fab for anyone. You sell your soul and buy their chips.

Apple and Intel may be discussing something to fit between the ipad and the macbook - some an "ipad pro" or "ibook" that would run Mac OS and, thus, be suited to an x86 chip, now that Intel has something approaching the power/performance ratio of ARM. Or maybe Apple is just sounding out options: look Intel, if you don't give us a better deal we're going ARM...

The StrongARM business, including licence, was sold to Marvel IIRC. Though Intel may have a new licence through the Infineon purchase. Not that the cost of the licence is to matter to them given their revenue. ARMs entire revenue is a mere splash compared to Intel's profits.

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Pint

Apple changing foundry ever?

Inconceivable!

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Wouldnt make any sense to intel

This would be a pointless move to intel. Arm chips are on the small side and intel ships on the large side. Worst case scenario would be for intel having to redesign or alter their production line to accomodate new chip cutters. And this is just the first one that comes to mind.

If intel had extra capacity, and wanted to sell it to some party one of the FPGA houses would make much more sense. The chips they produce are closer to the stuff intel already produces and they would get top dollar for the capacity. Also the FPGA:s aren't as direct competior for intel stuff as ARM. A large FPGA costs a lot more than a processor and where it is used a processor wont work.

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