Apple announced it has acquired chipmaker P.A. Semi, known for designing low-power chips. Apple did not reveal the price or specifics of the purchase, but reports estimate the value of the deal to be around $278 million.
Analysts expect that the acquisition was not a sign that Apple is looking to enter the microprocessor market, and instead centered on research and design teams.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Apple CEO Steve Jobs as saying the acquisition had “everything to do with their talent” and only in some cases P.A. Semi’s technology. He added that to run the kinds of “sophisticated” software Apple runs on devices such as the iPod and iPhone, “you can’t just go out and buy the chips off the shelf to do that.”
With only 150 employees, P.A. Semi makes chips based on the Power architecture from IBM, a platform Apple has abandoned for Intel. But P.A. Semi’s chips have been lauded for their efficiency. The company’s PWRficient processor is a dual core running at 2 GHz, that it says consumes a third or even a quarter of the power of comparable chips available on the market.
Analysts also have speculated that this deal could be aimed at new devices in the works at Apple.