Jon Simpson

Apple acquires key talent from Intrinsity

3 Apr 2010

Apple seem to have pulled in house the people responsible for power-optimising the ‘Hummingbird’ Samsung Cortex A8 package that seems to be a strong contender to be the Apple A4. The article is unclear whether Apple have just hired key talent, or the entire company at this point.

Intrinsity had cooperated with Samsung to announce the 1GHz Hummingbird processor back in July.

From a linked forum thread on MacRumors, and an article previously available on Intrinsity’s website.

Note that Samsung makes the application processor in the hot-selling Apple iPhone 3GS. Previous iPhones had an ARM11-based Samsung SoC running at 412MHz, but the iPhone 3GS has a Cortex-A8 running at 600MHz. In theory, Samsung could drop Intrinsity’s 1.0GHz Hummingbird into the existing design with few or no changes, boosting through- put by 67% without busting the iPhone’s power budget.

It’ll be interesting to see Apple’s first move away from more standard packages, once their earlier PA Semi and this acquisition of talent from Intrinsity - at the moment the ARM8/9 packages across the major smartphones & tablets (Hummingbird/Snapdragon/Tegra2) appear to be relatively similar.