It’s official: Apple buys Intrinsity chip design firm

“Apple has bought the company that many analysts say helped make the brain in the iPad tablet, people familiar with the deal said Tuesday,” Ashlee Vance and Brad Stone report for The New York Times.

“Apple has finalized a deal to acquire a small chip company called Intrinsity, Apple confirmed,” Vance and Stone report. “Intrinsity, of Austin, Tex., made a name for itself by creating a fast chip for mobile devices in cooperation with Samsung, both a partner and competitor to Apple. Many experts in the chip industry have speculated that Apple relied on Intrinsity’s chip as the basis for the main engine behind its new iPad… Intrinsity’s Hummingbird product is thought to be the main computational engine behind the A4.”

“‘Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we do not comment on our purpose or plans,’ said Steve Dowling, a spokesman at Apple,” Vance and Stone report. “Tom R. Halfhill, an analyst with Microprocessor Report, said he believed the acquisition price was $121 million.”

Full article here.

31 Comments

  1. Targeted, quality acquisitions with direct application to Apple’s current and future product lines. Apple has achieved a whole lot in recent years with only ~$500M. Now that’s smart management!

  2. I don’t know if designing and/or building chips in house offers real long advantages because development is usually proportional to the user base. For example the Power PC RISC processor was once considered the future of computing, its development however was slow and Intel managed to close the gap and surpass it, so that Apple eventually had to change architecture. Steve Jobs certainly knows about all that but I don’t think he is going to share his strategy with us.

  3. @money well spent…

    ditto.

    This acquisition ensures Apple’s exclusivity to Hummingbird tech and the folks at PA Semi will become fast friends with the folks at Intrinsity. Barbecue, anyone?

  4. @G4Dualie
    I’m fessing up. I thought the story was hogwash. But I suspect the motivation was more defensive than Apple’s desire to make chips. They may have decided that the company’s acquisition by another company could put Apple’s planned product roadmap in jeopardy.

  5. Yes, I have been the one posting numerous times now, saying that Apple would be putting its own chips into all its products. Naysayers here disagreed. But the handwriting was on the wall, and now, the train is on the tracks.

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