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Clues That Apple's Bought Another Processor Design House 183

Posted by timothy
from the unless-that-was-an-april-fool's-prank dept.
According to Ars Technica: "Apple's gigantic bankroll may be burning a hole in its pocket. Almost two years after purchasing PowerPC designer P.A. Semi, Apple appears to have snapped up ARM design house Intrinsity. According to a report that first appeared on electronista, a number of engineers at the company have indicated that they are now or soon will be employed by Apple. Some of them have even gone as far as to change their LinkedIn profiles, with one reverting it, possibly out of fear of drawing the wrath of his new, secretive employer." Updated 20100404 1:15 GMT Brian Dipert points out the earlier coverage at EDN, from which both of the above reports draw.
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Clues That Apple's Bought Another Processor Design House

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  • I wonder... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529)

    I wonder how long it'll take the otherwise intelligent geeks at /. to finally figure out that Apple is just as dangerous as Microsoft. They (Apple) just haven't gotten to the market share level they need yet to take over the world as it were.

    I know I'll get modded down by all the Jobs Koolaid drinkers, but Apple is every bit as hungry and willing to use any means necessary to dominate as is Microsoft. MS is on the wane while Apple is on the rise. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bbqsrc (1441981)
      Not the same. MS was openly destructive. At least, sometimes, Apple offers something new and competitive.
      • by Waccoon (1186667)
        For now?
      • by h00manist (800926)
        The underdog in the game sells a better product. But ultimately it's a product, which needs to earn costs+profit margins, and when it goes in the garbage, another will be sold, which will help the earnings.
    • by Bob_Who (926234)
      I totally agree. Its a human nature thing. Like Elvis Costello sang it: "History repeats the old conceits -- the glib replies the same defeats -- keep your finger on important issues -- with crocodile tears and a pocket full of tissues"
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h00manist (800926)

        I totally agree. Its a human nature thing. "

        Although the expression "human nature" is common, and human beings do have tendencies which they almost always repeat, similar to nature, where humans have come from, humans can also break their tendencies and go against them, which is basic to human evolution. So if there is a human nature, it is to modify his own natural conditions. At this point in history, this is still rather primitive and not too visible. (Not my ideas, I got them from humanism. )

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:00AM (#31714378)

      I wonder how long it'll take the otherwise intelligent geeks at /. to finally figure out that Apple is just as dangerous as Microsoft.

      When will most people agree with your silly argument? Never.

      Apple isn't Microsoft. Because Microsoft has a monopoly in a few areas of computing and caused great damage doesn't mean that any other company achieving a lot of success in different areas of computing will cause damage. Apple's influence over the industry over the years has been generally a good one.

      • by CdBee (742846) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:14AM (#31714432)
        MS was dangerous to the competitive Operating System market - and later on, office software.. geeks acknowledged the danger as systems like OS/2 disappeared despite their popularity.

        if Apple is a competitive threat, its to the makers of media players and to the producers of content, due to their homogenising influence on the market and their major-media-outlet status. Its less likely to directly affect us....
        • by sznupi (719324)

          Just one other company, Nokia, sells more media players annually than the number of iPods Apple has ever produced; I think you overestimate the influence of the latter (yes, it's highly visible in a few so called "key" markets...and that's it). Similarly with content production and sitribution.

      • Apple's model is becoming increasingly dangerous in its effect on the marketplace. Window 7 mobile closed app store is a sign of the computing apocalypse.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by salmonmoose (1147735)
      I've been wagging this flag for years now. Apple is more dangerous than Microsoft, they're not only tying users to their software, they're tying them to their hardware.
      • You’re forgetting that there are a bazillion Asiatic companies, who will sell you a Beowulf cluster of 10 equivalent hardware products for the same price. Or one for 10% of the price, including a shiny Linux distribution. They won’t go away. And people most people won’t have the money to buy Apple products anyway. The only question is, where MS will fit in there... if at all. ^^

        • Oh dear, I wish they would go away. They're as bad as those street vendors selling "genuine Rolex" watches for $20. You literally do not know what motherboards, CPU's, or controllers those vendors have used. Opening one up and finding that the drives behave erratically because the RAID controller is some unlabeled card whose chips have had the numbers scraped off is a serious problem. And calling one to get the known BIOS update for the motherboard is an amazing adventure in being asked "have you rebooted y

      • ...and I don't see the tie-down anywhere other than the normal situation of not being able to run native apps on other platforms.

        When you see a non-Apple program unable to browse an internal work website because it doesn't have the right Apple voodo, then drop us a datagram. Until then, you'd better keep your eye on how MS is trying to expand this common office situation to the wider Internet by making their Son-of-Active Directory the defacto protocol for single sign-on to websites.

        Apple's biggest threat t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      It’s much more general. Any company, that has the sole goal to make money (always with nobody asking why), will have exactly those priorities.
      The problem is, that when there is competition, in our “society”, the one with the least scruple, is the one “winning”. (And then destroying itself with the exact same tactic; making place for the next one.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BasilBrush (643681)

        The problem is, that when there is competition, in our "society", the one with the least scruple, is the one "winning". (And then destroying itself with the exact same tactic; making place for the next one.)

        In most lines of business, there isn't one winning. There are usually a variety of companies, with none holding a monopoly sized share of the market. Nor do they rise and fall in a continual succession. People way overgeneralise from the IBM->Microsoft monopoly transition in computing.

      • by Znork (31774)

        Any company, that has the sole goal to make money (always with nobody asking why), will have exactly those priorities.

        Indeed. But it's not the companies themselves that are the danger here, it's government supported monopoly rights that hands them the power to subvert and damage the market.

        Without copyright or patents neither Apple nor Microsoft would have the power to engage in anti-competitive behaviour to anywhere near the extent they do.

        • by rtaylor (70602)

          Wait, I thought Microsoft was hated because they embrace and extend everything to kill the original? It is only copyright and patent law that prevent them from doing this to everything instead of just a few standardized protocols.

    • by Vahokif (1292866)
      I'd say they've become more evil while MS became less evil actually.
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:31AM (#31714486)

      Hmm? And what crimes has Apple been convicted of? What SCO equivalent has Apple created to try to destroy Linux? I could go on; I suspect you're astroturfing. I hope it's not successful - there are valid complaints about Apple, but you haven't brought any of them up, merely flamed the fans of paranoia with hyperbole.

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:35AM (#31714504)

      Except Apple is increasing market share by producing new products, innovating and taking risks.

      Microsoft is only where it is today due to being rather lucky with getting IBM to take their vapour ware OS product DOS. Most of Microsoft's revenue still comes from Windows and Office, in fact they make more from Office than Windows!

      There are many big technology companies and nobody was complaining when Sony entered the games console market and dominated it? So why should Apple be prevented from doing well in the consumer electronics market?

      Just because they are good at it and other brands release products that are largely inferior doesn't mean Apple should be stopped.

      • by JamesP (688957)

        Microsoft is only where it is today due to being rather lucky with getting IBM to take their vapour ware OS product DOS.

        You know what... NO

        Apple was the first computer company, one of the first 'blockbuster' IPOs, and they almost went bankrupt.
        Commodore came and went, Amiga came and went. Apple came and almost went.
        Before MS Office there was Wordstar / Wordperfect / Lotus / Visicalc etc

        Yes, MS got a lot of money from the IBM deal, but they kept the ball rolling. Using dirty tricks yes, but also intelligence. Cause when MS bets and invests in something, 'hold on to your hats'.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by director_mr (1144369)
        The ignorance and bias in this post is breathtaking. Apple increased its market share by producing new products, innovating and taking risks. I sure agree with that. They are moving up to 5% of the phone market, and perhaps 10% of the phone market (WAG). They dominate the personal music department much like sony did in the late 80's and early 90's.

        But Microsoft only got where it is today (dominating around 95% of the computer market) by selling IBM vaporware in 80s? Wow. How about by kicking Appl
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jo_ham (604554)

          Apple "fears and despises" backwards compatibility?

          Is that why Rosetta exists, or the Classic environment, that they kept around for a very long time, post-OS X change, or the universal binary format, or the fact that AppleTalk has only just been dropped with the release of 10.6, or the fact that the dev tools feature targeted build modes that allow you to compile apps targeted at older versions of OS X...

          Apple goes out of its way to try to maintain backwards compatibility where possible, but inevitably som

          • by Rockoon (1252108)
            Call me up when I can run AppleIIgs software on a Macintosh. The AppleIIgs was a better machine than the first few Macintosh's, and the AppleII line was in fact quite popular prior to Apple completely abandoning it. Apple has NEVER had as much market share in the home as they did with their AppleII line.

            The AppleIIgs was hands down the best home computer hardware on the market when it was introduced in 1986.

            This monster had 16 channel wavetable synthesis via the Ensoniq DOC2 chipset it came with, capabi
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:35AM (#31714506)

      They (Apple) just haven't gotten to the market share level they need yet to take over the world as it were.

      ...and its hard to see how they would get to that market share without the massive leg-up that Microsoft and the Wintel platform got from IBM (the big evil monopolist of the day) back in the early days of personal computing. MS managed to inherit IBM's customer base and ride the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" meme (and eventually left IBM in the dust).

      Remember, MS still has a virtual stranglehold on the corporate sector, which Apple hasn't even tried to penetrate - and if anybody shakes MS loose from that, my bet would be Google rather than Apple.

      Also, unlike the early 80s, we now have the concept of standards-based computing (and the internet, which is a force for standardization which wasn't relevant to PCs in the 80s), something which only MS are big enough to ignore. Plus, even if the will had been there, 1980s PCs didn't have the horsepower that goes with the extra layers of abstraction required for most standards.

      Yes, native apps for Apple are non-standard (although OS X is also POSIX compliant) and the case of the iPod/Phone/Pad (but not their "real" desktop/laptop computers) is locked to Apples "App Store". However, it seems quite probable that as internet connectivity improves, native apps are going to become increasingly irrelevant compared to browser-based applications (for which Apple offer one of the better, more standards-based, platforms, and which can be run without restriction on the iProducts). Aside from the proprietary binary API, Apple's OS is built on open-source projects like Webkit, Apache, PHP/Python, Samba, CUPS the GNU compilers and the BSD toolkits, and can build and run most of the popular FOSS applications.

      So, maybe we'll see a competetive market split between (say) MS, Google and Apple. That would be vastly more healthy than the almost complete Wintel monoculture that had developed by the end of the 20th century.

      Remember - Apple helps Linux just by existing and having a significant market share: if a Website supports only IE, then only Windows can access it; if it supports Safari then its very likely to work on Linux browsers. If a USB peripheral supports Mac, then it probably uses one of the standard USB protocols (rather than requiring a custom windows-only driver) and will probably work on Linux. As long as there is more than one platform with market share, standards are more likely to be observed. Heck, even MS is now being dragged kicking and screaming into supporting HTML5...

      Of course, it pays to be vigilant against a new monopoly and keep half an eye on what MS, Apple, Google are up to (especially if there's any danger of a merger) but if you think what Apple's doing bears any resemblance to the birth of the Wintel monoculture, you presumably weren't paying attention back in the 80s.

      • Godwin's Game (Score:4, Insightful)

        by epine (68316) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @09:34AM (#31715274)

        People, take a quick bunny hop through List of cognitive biases [wikipedia.org] and ask yourself how many of these constitute cognitive feeder arteries for Godwin's law [wikipedia.org].

        Every so often a topic comes up where everyone simultaneously decides to let their amygdalas off the leash in the same dog park, who all quickly pair up for a circular open-jaw square dance. After the dust settles, what do you have? A giant patch of lawn to circumvent until the next heavy rainfall.

        I suppose the game is a bit more earnest for the born complainer, who does have to somehow realign the pole of supreme evil with every successive regime change. Those of us with the attention span to get through the first page of Anna Karenina understand that evil has a multitude of poles, any one of which can erupt into the supreme pimple in the rapidly shifting context of real life.

        if anybody shakes MS loose from that, my bet would be Google rather than Apple

        Apparently, slashdotters don't read Swift, either.

        There are at least half a dozen major players tugging on different fingers of the Beast of Redmond. Sony is doing their ineffective best tugging on the pinky finger with their once-powerful PS3 franchise. The unholy alliance Snoracle has a firm but limp-wristed grasp on the middle finger on office suite revenue streams. Linux/Apache/Firefox inflicted a hairline fracture on a wristbone. Google extracted a fingernail from the ring finger when it became the ultimate talent drain. That had to hurt. And now they're proceeding to bend back the index finger by sucking up the air supply in online search. Learn from the best. A horsefly named Gnome Evolution landed on the thumb and carted off the largest divot of flesh it could manage, which considering all the other wounds, is of no real consequence whatsoever, unless horseflies are a vector for Ebola, and so far it appears that they aren't. All things considered, I think that Microsoft can hang there by their relatively undamaged, enterprising thumbs for another thirty years or so.

        The biggest risk with Apple is that they manage to leverage their carefully cultivated charisma (if it survives their having become a big enough company to matter in these discussions) to make DRM palatable to the masses.

        Sony is far more evil in the DRM department (witness the recent "other OS" rescindment fiasco) but they suffer from a bad case of cartoon evil: whatever their grasping ambition, it's soon equally matched by their incompetence. They managed--on the back of a half billion dollar war chest--to leverage their dominant Play Station franchise into a slow and lukewarm victory in a dying physical media platform.

        This rivals anything accomplished by the Hudson Bay Company (oldest corporation in North America) which once laid claim to half the natural resources in Canada, but decided the crown jewel was retailing dress shirts. If Warren Buffett had gained control of HBC in the late 1700s, America might now be the 11'th Canadian province, or an economic protectorate, like Puerto Rico. (If BG gained control of the HBC in the late 1700s, Russia would now be the world's great democracy and white knight of freedom.)

        Wish the Sony/HBC disease were true of Apple, but it isn't.

        I could continue grave digging in this vein for another day or two, but hey, it's Easter, and whatever your opinion on the back story, there was an important lesson in there about the rush to judgement.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mjwx (966435)

        and if anybody shakes MS loose from that, my bet would be Google rather than Apple.

        This is probably the only thing you wrote that makes sense. Apple can not make inroads into the corporate market despite all attempts (and they have been trying, the sheer amount of Apple propaganda that comes out of universities is staggering) because MS knows that if it sells a business the tools and leaves them well enough alone they can collect another cheque next year. Google is following the same strategy with a lot

    • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mrcalire (1734480) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:46AM (#31714556)

      That's funny, i only buy apple products because they meet my needs (wants) that other companies seem unwilling to.

      Small example. Bought a first gen Zune as it was a little nicer then the iPod 5g that had come out a year before. Problem Is I wanted a video store.

      After all what the hell is the point of a nice screen, for um music?. I wanted my tv shows.movies to go and I wanted them now. Microsoft said they were getting a video store so I waited... and waited... and waited. Finally got a iPod instead. It took microsoft till 2008 3 freaking years after apple to get a video store. Apple, funny thing opened their store in 2005.

      Let them dominate. Let them make a zillion dollars as long as I get what I want. When they start making what I don't want I will stop buying.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      I wonder how long it'll take the otherwise intelligent geeks at /. to finally figure out that Apple is just as dangerous as Microsoft.

      You mean that Apple is *more* dangerous than Microsoft, as it is lurking in our life as a "cool" and "trendy" thing.

    • Apple is just as dangerous as Microsoft.

      Is clearly false, because of this:

      They (Apple) just haven't gotten to the market share level they need yet to take over the world as it were.

      Lots of people want to take over the world. Its only worth worrying about the ones that have a reasonable chance of doing it.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Being "as hungry and willing to use any means necessary to dominate" is peachy-keen so long as people still have a choice. MS got in trouble because they continued to use aggressive tactics after already becoming a monopoly, and they used their monopoly to muscle into other markets.

      Apple has a monopoly on exactly nothing.

      Besides, Apple will probably never dominate any market since they don't do low-end. They want profit margins and you don't get that by chasing the low-end. See Dell for a lesson in this.

    • That might be indeed what Apple tries to achieve, except that it doesn't work that way in the industry.
      There are always leader and wannabes. But long-time leader seldom lose it to newcomers. It's too late for Apple to dominate the market.

      Generally, what happens is a disruptive shift of paradigms, of what matters the most, which makes the stronghold of the previous king obsolete, and helps a completely new market arise with its own new kings.

      IBM used to be the top of the heap in term of big iron hardware. Ot

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        Instead, with the arrival of the PC (ironically by IBM themselves !)

        Well, that depends if you mean the personal computer as a generic concept- which existed for a number of years before IBM released theirs- or the later meaning of the term "PC" as "IBM PC compatible".

        But IBM only released *their* PC a number of years after others had done so already, and it was clear that they weren't going away. I'm very sure that given the choice IBM would have preferred the computer world to remain focused on the mainframe market that they dominated, but that wasn't going to happen. Ha

        • IBM's PC (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DrYak (748999)

          Well, that depends if you mean the personal computer as a generic concept- which existed for a number of years before IBM released theirs- or the later meaning of the term "PC" as "IBM PC compatible".

          No, I really specifically meant IBM's PC machine.

          But IBM only released *their* PC a number of years after others had done so already, and it was clear that they weren't going away.

          Yes. Small machine targeted at individuals have existed before the PC.
          The huge difference: all these previous machine were either home-made kits or small proprietary series.

          IBM's PC was the first which :
          - had a large scale success (thank to the IBM name written on it)
          - was opened-up (probably because the initial intent from IBM was to make it easy for 3rd party to create compatible peripherals) and ended up being more a platform than a specific machine from a

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            Yes. Small machine targeted at individuals have existed before the PC. The huge difference: all these previous machine were either home-made kits or small proprietary series.

            I'm not clear on what you mean by "small proprietary series"- the Apple II was definitely a personal computer (one of the first) rather than the hobbyist kit machines that had preceded it, and that came out in 1977, four years before the IBM PC. (Where one counts the early weird-keyboard Commodore Pets in the same category is a matter of opinion).

            And it was a pretty major success- not mass market like the later C64 etc., but then neither were the early (and very expensive) IBM PCs.

            The IBM PC was also pr

    • If Apple had become the dominant IT company, if it hadn't screwed up like everyone else with the PC and allowed Wintel to completly own the industry, then we might have been even worse off.

      But that didn't happen. All the lock-in, proprietary, sneakiness of Apple is "mostly harmless". It sucks if it bites you in the ass, but the rest of the world isn't affected.

      And that makes all the difference. Apple is a big player in PC's but it got lots of healthy competition and this means that if I don't like the cra

    • I do wonder what exactly one thinks Apple is looking to control beyond their devices and the user experience of those devices? As far as I can tell, the only evil Apple does is in their desire to control the use of those devices once they've been sold. I see no evidence that Apple seeks to dominate the entire media landscape, nor whole computer market. Apple is in the business of making the "best" devices possible - no more, no less. The control freakery is all about producing superb, useful products.

      Of c

    • Ok, I was bored with your message from the get-go because it amounts to "Apple is a corporation trying to make money just like every other corporation out there." Ok. Yeah. And? Guess what - damn near any company that answers to shareholders, especially once they become even vaguely successful, is going to do everything they can to make a profit. Nothing new. We know. Kthnxbai.

      But, then, after spouting off all the rhetoric that is already obvious, you throw in one of the most over-used cliches currently m
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      [citation needed]

      So they bought a processor shop that has the experience to design processors for a product that they are selling. Oh my! The world will soon end!

      I think it's clear from the choices being made by both companies that Apple has no interest in "World Domination" - they don;t even sell a cheap, headless iMac-type box, which is seemingly the "no brainer" product that would cause "Apple's market share to take off" - of course, they are not interested in selling such a device or they would have don

    • well... yes and no. The only reason Microsoft would purchase Intrinsity is if Intrinsity already came up with a innovative design that at it's first introduction to market blew everyone away... no, I take that back. Microsoft would NEVER buy an Intrinsity. After being surprised like everyone else at Intrinsity's hypothetical product, Microsoft would fast track and bring to market almost immediately a product falsly claiming to match the new innovative features of Intrinsity's product, and saturate and flood

  • Ya know, say what you will about Microsoft, Apple, Google etc... they are doing what businesses do and people are willing to pay or sacrifice freedom and/or privacy for what they offer. They got there because of marketing. I don't understand people who gripe about someone or something more successful or powerful than they are and/or what they support. If you're have the energy and insight to gripe, use that energy to find a solution - here's mine! Why not push for hardware manufacturers to not only provide

    • they are doing what businesses do and people are willing to pay or sacrifice freedom and/or privacy for what they offer.

      There is something terribly wrong with the world where you must sacrifice anything other than money in order to buy products/services.
      What happened to "legal tender for all debts, public and private"?

      • It's for all debts, and only applies to actual bank notes and coins (not, for example, credit cards or cheques), and even then only so long as the creditor belongs to the same country as the one that issued the currency. It doesn't mean they have to sell you something in exchange for cash (you don't have that debt to them yet, and thus the legal tender thing no power), it means that they have to accept cash in payment for debts.

        Those debts are strictly defined as monetary debts, not as metaphorical "debts"

    • by h00manist (800926)
      i think linux and open source will grow in users on the measure that they have cheaper and better stuff, for general consumers. For techs and programmers, also on the measure conscience and technical requirements demanding open source grows. Open source has succeeded in lower costs, and in many cases technically better products, but as for the user interface, functions and usability by non-techs, it still is behind, which is what's still holding it back. Solving the technical issues behind the usability a
  • Could this "story" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ffreeloader (1105115) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:10AM (#31714404) Journal

    possibly be any more slanted? I'm no Apple fanboy. I've never owned any Apple products and don't like the way Apple does business, nor their history of employee relations, but come on. Claiming someone "possibly" changed their LinkedIn profile due to fear of Apple is out of line.

    It's nothing more than rank speculation. If fear of Apple--use of intimidation against the engineers by Apple is implied--was the motivation for changing a LinkedIn profile why didn't the rest of the engineers change their profiles back? Was Apple capable of intimidating only one out of several engineers? Are the majority of the engineers too stupid to know what Apple is like?

    The slant taken by this story assumes way too many facts not in evidence.

    • by DannyO152 (544940)

      Plus, Apple is a publicly traded company. If the deal is signed, then it has to promptly tell its shareholders and the general investor. Somebody who heard something juicy at the water cooler and who takes the rumors/inside information public, treating negotiations, due diligence, and closing as a fait accompli is doing something incredibly, obviously wrong. "Malice or stupidity" debate wrong.

      I would expect his current employers would have been the ones to read him the riot act and it is they that made him

  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:34AM (#31714502) Journal

    OSX will build on ARM without a problem and the ARM CPU would be better than the Intel Atom in a netbook.

    However, as the world inside the Reality Distortion Field now knows, netbooks will never sell because no one really wants them and anyway, as a failed product, they have been replaced by the magical iPad.

    Ideally, you are reading this post a) on your iPhone or b) while waiting in line to buy your Really Big iPhone.

    • OSX will build on ARM without a problem

      It not only will, but it has been been built AND SHIPPED on ARM since the release of the first iPhone.

      and the ARM CPU would be better than the Intel Atom in a netbook.

      I don't know about that. But the ARM is vastly superior for computing appliances, and ships in orders of magnitude more products than all X86 CPUs combined.

      However, as the world inside the Reality Distortion Field now knows, netbooks will never sell because no one really wants them and anyway, as a faile

      • It not only will, but it has been been built AND SHIPPED on ARM since the release of the first iPhone.

        iPhone OS is "derived from" OS X but is not OS X.

        The funny thing about the RDF is that it's people who talk of its existence that say things that don't correspond with reality. Like you for example.

        I wish you a sense of humour, some figgy pudding, and a Happy New Year.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by itsdapead (734413)

      OSX will build on ARM without a problem and the ARM CPU would be better than the Intel Atom in a netbook.

      Provided you didn't expect your desktop apps and games to run on your netbook. Give it a few years until everything is browser- or virtual machine based and that's not a problem, but here and now if people perceive their "netbook" as a portable version of their main computer, they'll want application compatibility.

      Sure, Apple are past masters at seamless CPU emulation, but that overhead will probably wipe out the benefit of ARM vs. Atom.

      However, as the world inside the Reality Distortion Field now knows, netbooks will never sell because no one really wants them and anyway, as a failed product

      No distortion field required: the original netbook concept (e.g. the E

      • by bregmata (1749266) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @07:57AM (#31714838)

        Blame Asus for using an obscure Linux distro, doing a half-baked job of optimising the key applications for a small screen and then Osbourning it by announcing a new model every five minutes, or blame MS for reviving XP and dumping it on the netbook market at silly prices...

        For the consumer, all Linux distros are obscure. The problem was really that Microsoft rereleased XP for these devices, and suddenly everyone expected to be able to install pirated versions of software on them just like they do on all their other Microsoft-based computers (no, Photoshop will not be useable on a 7" screen even of you didn't pay for it or the copy on your home desktop). The trick with the iPad is it doesn't look like Microsoft Windows. It doesn't act like Microsoft Windows. If it doesn't walk like a duck or quack like a duck, people will not expect to be able to steal Photoshop and run it like, uh, a duck.

        • by itsdapead (734413)

          For the consumer, all Linux distros are obscure.

          But the custom version of Xandros used on the EEE was more obscure than most. What consumers might have noticed is the very limited range of software in the default repository c.f, say, Ubuntu. (/.ers wouldn't think twice about adding the Debian repos or installing tarballs, but typical consumers would rely on the repository).

          That would have been forgivable if the applications ASUS offered had been carefully optimized for the small screen - but, by and large, they were just out-of-the-box versions of OpenO

      • Go out to buy a netbook today and what you'll be offered is an entry-level, full-featured subnotebook. Nothing like the original concept.

        What you really mean that MS changed their policies so they could get into the netbook market and destroyed that market, by changing people's expectations of what a netbook was, just to keep Linux out of the market place.

    • by fermion (181285)
      These processors are not necessarily going to be just for net books. Apple changes processor technologies periodically, and we would expect another change within the next few years. I think the switch to Intel was overdue, given that PowerPC was becoming an energy hog. Not how complex the desktops got, and how long we had to wait for a real notebook upgrade(G5 was never in a notebook).

      Apple is moving the core OS X services to the iPhone and iPad and iPod touch. I would suspect any processor strategy w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder who the employees are going to put as their employer on their resumes! This whole "can't name my employer" sounds like a bit of BS to me. Also wouldn't APPLE have to do some filing with the SEC regarding the purchase of a design house? It's not exactly the same as buying a stapler!

  • It may not make a lot of sense for a computer company to buy a microprocessor company. The microprocessor company will lose clients that are competitors of the computer company, the microprocessor will lose market share, and the computer company will find itself with processors that only it has, which are not supported elsewhere. Unless of course it has visions of magnificent grandiosity, unlimited inventiveness capability, inventing chips and computers that nobody else can, selling products nobody has eve
    • I dont think so, I personally think Apple wants to get deeper into the consumer electronics field now they have a stronghold there, Intel will not help them to get in there, seriously Atom is a joke, once it comes to that area, it simply makes sense for them to get an ARM core designhouse to reach their goals, given the history they had with their processor supply chain leaving them hanging dry in the air.
      The problem I see is that might darken the relationship with Intel in the long run.

    • the microprocessor will lose market share, and the computer company will find itself with processors that only it has, which are not supported elsewhere.

      Well, that's not going to happen with the current buy, because :
      - ARM is an architecture used by lots of chip makers, almost everywhere. Apple is just buying one of the numerous chip maker which make ARM-based chips.
      - Even if it was a separate architecture, it won't matter. Apple want to make cheap chips to put into its iPhone/iPods/iPad, they'll compile their own software for it. It doesn't matter if that architecture doesn't run Wolrd of Warcraft, that was never the intention.

      so maybe they are foreseeing becoming more of a competitor of Intel.

      Apple's point is not to compe

  • what evil? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by knappe duivel (914316) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @06:59AM (#31714616)
    Can somebody please explain what is evil about Apple buying Intrinsity?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h00manist (800926)
      nothing in particular. --- everything in general.
    • by aussersterne (212916) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @08:17AM (#31714898) Homepage

      1. Regular people like Apple products.
      2. But Apple products have nice user interfaces and can be used by most anyone.
      3. Therefore they are like a totalitarian dictator marching the unwashed masses to their graves.
      4. Plus they're just sexy, not real.
      5. Therefore, anything Apple does is evil.
      6. And anyone that doesn't think so is a blinded member of the politburo or a metrosexual fashionista.
      7. Plus, OSX sucks and is just like Windows, iPod sucks and is just like Zune, iPhone sucks and is just like Blackberry, and iPad sucks and is just like Microsoft tablet PC.
      8. 1337 H4x0rs Ru13!

      I think I covered everything.

      Seriously, the walled garden property sucks and I'd love to be able to use a bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone without unlocking it. But the Apple hate around the online tech world is truly a sphere of irrationality to behold right now, out of any proportion to anything anyone has done; Microsoft and Microsoft users were never even talked about this way.

      • by dwye (1127395)

        > I think I covered everything.

        You forgot that the only think standing in the way of the total triumph of (x :: x in {GNU/Linux|Linux|BeOS|etc}) is Apple's blocking of the critical path. Otherwise, (said x) would be challenging the Wintel monopoly, and destined to take the lead in but a year or two, as Steve Ballmer can only throw chairs and the sheeple would realize that they all were totally wrong in everything in question, and would convert en mass to (said x).

        Or is that covered by your #8?

        > Micro

    • Re:what evil? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by makomk (752139) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @09:10AM (#31715136) Journal

      You may recall that, at one point, NVidia had a neat technology for hardware-accelerated onboard sound called SoundStorm [wikipedia.org] based on technology designed and licensed by an obscure company called Sensaura. Then Sensaura were bought up by the big competitor Creative Audio and NVidia were forced to drop SoundStorm from their next generation of chipsets.

      It looks like the purchase of Intrinsity by Apple will have the same effect in the mobile phone system-on-chip market. Currently, anyone can buy the low-power Samsung ARM chips designed by Intrinsity for mobile use, but now they've been swallowed by Apple there won't be an improved version. Any future Intrinsity SOCs will be Apple-only. Do this for a few more companies, and...

    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      Dunno about Intrinsity, but I feel bad about the other company Apple had bought, and this seems like a similar case.

      PA Semi had developed a particularly power-efficient version of PowerPC. Something like a dual-core G4 or G5, except that it only consumed around 10 watts at 2 GHz. Including the integrated memory controller, etc. Who wouldn't want that? Well, Apple bought them, and thus we have not heard of their wonderful technology again. And if we do, it will only be available inside an Apple product.

    • by tyrione (134248)

      Can somebody please explain what is evil about Apple buying Intrinsity?

      Because they continue to succeed and no multi-billionaire fanboy of linux has bought such cool technologies and taken billions in losses so linux fanboys can buy something cool with an aluminum unibody case housing a Tux logo on the backside?

  • I think people really need to look closer at what is in Apples products and how they relate to products sold by Apple "now". The CPU in the iPhone is an ARM Cortex cpu supplied by Samsung but guess who is the joint developer of the cpu, yep you got it Intrinsity. What Apple are doing here is making sure they can control the technology under the hood of their products no more no less. It is a good business decision and also makes sure they don't have any legal (patents) problems down the road.
  • My best friend from high school has worked at Intrinsity since I-don't-know-when; I'd hope he'd have enough stock+options to make him happy (not that he lacks for money, but it's always nice when good things happen to good people).

    And they run a pretty tight ship, because I never knew what the heck he was working on, until the public announcement of their ARM work.
  • by StandardDeviant (122674) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:55AM (#31716198) Homepage Journal

    I worked there briefly years ago back when they were EVSX. EVSX was in turn founded by folks from the Austin branch of Exponential Technologies, which ironically was a company based around making fast processors for the Apple clone market of the 90s (for extra irony given Apple's years-later switch to intel cpus, exponential tech apparently worked both in PowerPC and x86, with Austin focusing on the x86 branch of development). In a sense, this acquisition is kind of like full circle for the company. I wish them all the best; they are an extremely bright and friendly group who were great to work with. I ended up leaving for a job paying slightly more with less commute, but ultimately I wish I'd stayed on as the people were better to work with at EVSX.

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