PA Semi Team Working On New iPhone Chip

Apple caused quite a stir when they purchased PA Semi, one of Intel’s leading rivals, causing many to wonder if they were ditching Mac chipmaker Intel once and for all. It wasn’t until Steve announced that they were going to design their own iPod and iPhone chips that their intentions became clear. Now one Apple employee has offered a small morsel of info on what they’re doing.

The New York Times reported today that Wei-han Lien, Apple’s senior manager of the chip team, posted on LinkedIn that he’s busy working on a new ARM chip for the next generation of iPhone.

While that doesn’t seem like a lot of information, it does give confirmation to what Steve announced. Also, developing their own ARM processor could have some major implications. For one, they’ll have greater control over it than they do over the ARM chips manufactured by Samsung that are currently in the iPhone, like the ability to build support for things like scroll wheels or touch screens right into the chip.

“They could put software accelerators on there or maybe do something like a graphics engine,” said Fred Weber, the former chief technology officer of Advanced Micro Devices and current chief executive at Metram.

While their exact plans are unknown, we now know that they are putting them into action. Hopefully whatever it is will be awesome.

[via NY Times]

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