Apple buys chip designer with iPhone in mind

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In a move that could have a major impact on the entire mobile phone industry, Apple announced late Tuesday that it has acquired a small microprocessor design firm for $278 million (£139 million).
The company’s decision to acquire the chip manufacturer, P.A. Semi, came as a surprise to Intel, which has been trying to make Apple use its Atom mobile processor. According to one report, Apple decided against Intel’s Atom chip because it failed to offer the kind of battery life it was expecting.
It’s all about the iPhone
P.A. Semi was founded in 2003 and was best known for its ability to create low-voltage CPUs, while still maintaining the power expected from other mobile processors.
This was ostensibly a major reason why Apple acquired the company, especially considering it has been constantly trying to find ways to add greater functionality to the iPhone without sacrificing precious battery life.
Apple chose not to comment on the acquisition of the company, but there is no indication that P.A. Semi will be rolled up into the device maker. As a new version of the iPhone looms, the processor design firm clearly could play an important role in Apple’s plans.


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