updated 04:55 pm EDT, Tue April 27, 2010
Apple takes ARM specialist away from Samsung
Apple today was confirmed to have bought out Intrinsity. The deal rumored in progress earlier is now said to have been finalized and may be made public soon. Apple representative Steve Dowling didn't either confirm or deny the buyout and said the company doesn't declare its ultimate aims when it does acquire other companies.
The deal is unofficially estimated to be worth as much as $121 million.
Several Intrinsity staffers had changed their LinkedIn profiles earlier in the month to indicate they were now working at Apple, although some of these changed back without warning. It's suspected Apple was upset that they had revealed Apple's plans prematurely.
The acquisition is potentially a large blow to Samsung. Intrinsity is known for finessing mobile processors to get added performance or battery life and is most recognized for the Hummingbird processor, a chip that in 2009 could use the same ARM Cortex-A8 architecture as the iPhone 3GS but could run at 1GHz even under stress, in part because of work Intrinsity did to curb the power and heat loads. Intrinsity may have helped Apple achieve a similar effect on the iPad's 1GHz A4 and could make the Galaxy S Samsung's last major phone to use Hummingbird, giving Apple at least a temporary advantage.
Most expect an A4 chip or a close cousin of it to be used in the next iPhone, and if so Intrinsity may already have had an impact on the handset's design strategy. A full acquisition could see Intrinsity work more closely with the former members of PA Semi and provide an even more optimized feature set for 2011 or 2012.