“In the January 2010 issue, IEEE Spectrum featured chip firm Intrinsity, of Austin, Texas, for its innovative streamlining of the standard smartphone CPU, the ARM Cortex-A8,” Mark Anderson reports for IEEE Spectrum. “Today, analysts speculate Intrinsity’s enhanced A8, dubbed ‘Hummingbird,’ powers the 1-GHz Apple iPad and may (within a chip bearing the Apple logo) lie at the heart of the next version of the iPhone, too.”
Anderson reports, “‘Actually, there’s no speculation,’ market analyst Will Strauss, from Tempe, Ariz.–based Forward Concepts, says of the Hummingbird-iPad claim. ‘It’s only the Intrinsity folks who could have taken it up to a gigahertz. Period.’
“Strauss, one of a number of industry analysts who have made the case that Hummingbird powers the iPad, points to the fact that X-ray photography and analysis by reverse-engineering firm Chipworks have confirmed that the iPad runs on some version of the single-core A8 processor,” Anderson reports. “But, Strauss says, an unmodified A8 can clock up to only 650 MHz. Speeding up the A8 further requires the bag of tricks Intrinsity used to make its 1-GHz Hummingbird.”
Anderson reports, “Strauss adds that the teardown confirms that the iPad’s mystery CPU was made by Samsung, also the manufacturer of Hummingbird.”
Apple may have “quietly bought up Intrinsity to join the PA Semi team as in-house Apple chip designers,’ Anderson reports. “Intrinsity has lately gone silent, Strauss says, reporting unsuccessful attempts from both the press and industry to make contact with company officials. As of Monday afternoon, Intrinsity’s Web site was off-line, while last week it displayed a generic ‘this page under construction’ graphic. Intrinsity’s unresponsiveness would make little sense if something like an acquisition weren’t, in fact, under way, he says.”
Full article here.
[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]