Apple Licenses Rights To Design ARM Processor?
ARM released a financial report recently in which they announced that they have signed a deal with an “un-named OEM” (original equipment manufacturer) for an architectural licensing deal. This particular kind of license gives the OEM the authority to develop thier own implementations of ARM cores and add custom extentions. They have not stated who the OEM is, but EETimes’ Peter Clarke suspects that it’s Apple.
It does makes sense. Apple’s purchase of PA Semi brought their CEO and founder Dan Dobberpuhl to Apple, who led the team at Digital Equipment that developed the StrongARM processor under a similar license with ARM. Apple has stated that they purchased the company to design chips for the iPhone and iPod.
ARM’s CEO explained why a company would want this license, and his description fit that of Apple:
“Some handset manufacturers want to have more control over the design of their handset, including the components within it, than others. And it’s as simple as that. And the ARM business model offers one that level of control, if that’s what one wants to do and one has the technical resources available to do it.”