“Just ahead of its recession defying, record setting Q2 2008 earnings reports, Apple revealed plans to buy PA Semi, a chip designer specializing in processors based on IBM’s Power architecture,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted. “This news sparked a flurry of confusion from observers: why is Apple getting into the semiconductor business after partnering with Intel in its Mac systems, aligning with ARM licensees for its mobile WiFi iPhone platform, and particularly after decisively migrating away from PowerPC in 2006?”

“Apple’s acquisition target isn’t a chip manufacturer. As a ‘fabless’ chip designer, PA Semi (short for Palo Alto Semiconductor) only develops chip designs that are actually built by other companies,” Dilger explains.

“PA Semi licensed IBM’s Power architecture technology to design its PWRficient series of 64-bit processors suitable for use in applications from desktop computers to server storage controller backplanes,” Dilger reports.

“EETimes reported that just two days prior to the announcement of its purchase by Apple, ‘PA Semi informed its customers it was being acquired and it could no longer guarantee supplies of its chips. The startup did not identify the acquiring company but said that company may be willing to supply the chip on an end-of-life basis, if it could successfully transfer a third-party license to the technology,'” Dilger reports.

Dilger reports, “The report then flatly reiterated that ‘PA Semi customers were told the acquiring company was not interested in the startup’s products or road map, but is buying the company for its intellectual property and engineering talent.'”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]