ARM Announces Major New Licensee, Is it Apple?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    9to5mac points to a recent ARM announcement that the company has secured a major architectural licensing deal with an "unnamed OEM" (original equipment manufacturer). This broad architectural license allows the manufacturers to develop their own implementations of the ARM processor and has been issued very few times over the years. The name of the licensee has not been officially announced.

    During today's financial results conference, the CEO of ARM explains why a company might want this sort of license:
    EETimes' Peter Clarke believes that Apple is the unnamed licensee. The iPhone reportedly contains as many as five ARM processor cores inside of it from multiple vendors. Apple's recent acquisition of P.A. Semi brought its founder and CEO Dan Dobberpuhl into Apple. Dobberpuhl led the team that developed the StrongARM processor using a similar architectural license from ARM. Steve Jobs has also revealed that they had specific plans for P.A. Semi's acquisition to develop system-on-chips for future iPods and iPhones.

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  2. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    It'll be interesting to see how this affects future iPods, iPhones, and any other handheld devices.

    Apple most likely thinks that Atom is too power consuming at this stage for it to be used in those devices.
  3. BigD58 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2008
    North Carolina
    Hmm Interesting. I do hope this apple they are talking about. This would mean so many new things for them.:D
  4. macrockbuddy macrumors member

    Feb 23, 2008
    I hope Apple doesn't venture too far away from Intel. I like the Intel processors in their mac line up. I think if Apple announced that they were no longer using Intel processors it could hurt sales.
  5. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple's relationship with Intel. This is about iPhone chips, and the iPhone doesn't use any Intel technology. Apple putting their own silicon in iPhones is a very far cry from using it to replace Intel processors in computers.
  6. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    no this move will likely be for their handheld products.
  7. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5A347 Safari/525.20)

    I agree, the intel processor has been a great addition to the mac. I guess we will have to wait and see. I do think that the Apple-Intel relationship is strong and I would see no reasons to sever ties with Intel.
  8. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    ARM makes ultramobile processors, not laptop/desktop processors.
  9. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Makes sense this is Apple. By doing this, Apple stands to gain a significant competitive advantage over other companies who can't just throw together an iphone-clone using the same parts available to everyone.

    It's a fine line though. you lose some economies of scale etc... Apple needs to be able to actually produce better chips or ones that give them an advantage.

  10. techage14 macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2007
    Very interesting. I can't wait to see if this is true. It would open many doors as some one else said. I wonder what's going to happen next...
  11. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    And Apple already uses ARM chips.

    Apple + ARM + PA Semi = custom chips for iPhone, iPod, etc.?

    Apple + Intel + PA Semi? = custom chipsets for Macs?
  12. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Sweet, lets hope the can make some nice toys together!
  13. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Historical note: Apple was involved in the design of new ARM chips way back--for the Newton.
  14. dasmb macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007
    Of course the "unnamed OEM" is Apple.

    If it were ANY other company, they would have been writing press releases before the deal was even signed. Outside of Cupertino, that's how technology "works" shout loud about your relationships and functions and new ideas BEFORE you invest in production (and in cases before the prototype is even ready), to gauge the market response and properly scale your initial run.

    At Apple, they instead fully develop a product, then announce it with a margin high enough to cover potentially unsold units.

    It's a riskier venture that requires a lot more capital investment and strong market research. It's also why the products have such consumer appeal.
  15. Rocketman macrumors 603


    This has another "intended consequence" of great benefit for Apple-Intel. This strengthens a competitor to Intel thus lowering the governmental banter about monopoly and anti-trust.

    Apple needs an Intel free of anti-trust claims, which are unique to USA until recently, and resulted in our own country's loss of our worldwide vertical monopoly in oil. That was a long term disaster.

    The drag on Microsoft has been huge. They should have simply been forced to pay treble damages to all the competitors they stomped and move on.

    That said, Apple will continue to make strategic agreements to assure their critical suppliers do not run afoul of the overburdensome government his BOD member worked so hard to install and enlarge, and will continue to do so in the future within the Democratic party.

  16. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    I think that could very well be the case, especially after hearing that Apple may move away from the Intel chipsets (NOT CPUs). Should be interesting to see what the coming months will bring.
  17. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    It's funny to look back over the past 2 years and see all these acquisitions, who's working for who now, etc. Once you take a step back and look at it as a whole, it's like a well played game of chess. It's very well though out, patient, and strategic.
  18. AlphaAnt macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2006
    MD, USA
    Man, I was about to give up reading MR for the day. I'm glad I hit refresh one last time. This news is huge.

    I don't see what other OEM company has the position, desire, and ability to develop its own ARM processors, so in my mind there's only Apple. This is (in IMO) the first major follow-up to them buying PA Semi, and an extremely positive result of that move. Considering the time between the purchase and this announcement, it's taken about long enough for them to draft the license contract, have it completely worked through by engineers and lawyers, then signed off on by execs of both companies.

    When this turns out to be Apple, I can't wait to find out how well their implementation performs in comparison to what they're currently using in the iPhone and other platforms.
  19. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Excellent news - as arn mentioned, this will give Apple a competitive advantage over rivals, as Apple will have more control over the chips in thier devices and be able to customize them to their needs, whereas other manufacturers will be stuck using the basic available offerings. It will allow Apple to exercise more creativity and innovation all while their competitiors will not be able to do a quick copy job.
  20. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    True but I don't think Apple has much of a problem when it comes to scale in the iPod/iPhone section ;) I hope this will somehow lead to even more powerful and revolutionary devices.
  21. pubb macrumors member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Apple couldn't care less if every Intel employee was being drawn and quartered so long as they got a better product than the competition at a better price.
    Intel can have a monopoly, so long as they don't engage in unlawful means to effect that monopoly. If every other manufacturer decided on their own to get out of the chip business, Intel would have a monopoly and it would be perfectly legal.


  22. rikers_mailbox macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2003
    More vertical integration. Apple is really holding on tightly to the iPhone/iPod Touch/Mobile OS X platform ... lots of tech investment and patent applications. The obvious expectation is long term growth and development in the platform.
  23. Rocketman macrumors 603


    I hear you. Anti-trust efforts are more poitical than legal in initial motivation. The U.S. Justice department has ANNOUNCED they are looking into allegations Intel is running afoul of anti-trust laws. Gee, I wonder who dropped the dime? :)

    It's the government, it doesn't have to make sense.

  24. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Jul 5, 2004
    I'm betting this is one path Apple will have to take to stop this new wave of "Mac clones". Standard intel CPU with a regular intel/etc chipset (to stay Windows compatible) + custom Apple (PA Semi) chipset that regular PC motherboards don't have (that could also help with parallel processing, etc).
  25. macrumors 65816

    Nov 10, 2006
    I'm not sure why there is always such concern when these types of announcements are made that Apple is moving away from Intel. As others have said ARM's target markets are generally quite different from Intel's. Admittedly with Atom, Intel hopes to move into some of ARM's space in Smartphones and such, but currently Atom is targetted at netbooks, nettops, and other devices that are larger.

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