updated 10:50 am EDT, Thu April 30, 2009
Chip design at Apple
Not only is Apple is the middle of designing its own chips, it is experiencing some initial difficulties, claims the Wall Street Journal. The company acquired chip designers PA Semi approximately a year ago, and is acknowledged by people including CEO Steve Jobs to be using the expertise to help prepare for future multi-touch devices, namely iPods and iPhones. Such devices are expected to produce better graphics and battery consumption, while supporting special features.
Jobs is also said to have admitted to PA Semi engineers that a central goal of internal design is to keep information proprietary. Many executives at the company are thought to be worried that current iPhone chip designs, based on publicly-available technology, are being copied and sold to competitors in the realm of smartphones.
Journal sources note however that Apple may be experiencing trouble producing its first original chips, such that despite having a year under its belt already, the company may not ship any products with the technology until 2010. Some reports had indicated that new chips could find their way into devices as soon as the third-generation iPhone, expected this summer.
Apple is meanwhile said to have amassed an even larger chip design team than previously recognized. Aside from 150 people from PA Semi, and executives Bob Drebin and Raja Koduri, at least 100 Apple workers listed with LinkedIn are now noted to have chip experience from companies such as Samsung, Qualcomm and Intel. Openings for chip engineers continue to be available, such as ones related to work on handwriting recognition and display management.