There are few product platforms that can support the development of unique processor or ASIC. Apple is one of those companies that has product platforms that drive enormous volumes. For semi developers this shrinking list of prospects is a nightmare – you win apple or you don’t. If you lose, you have nothing. Thus there are fewer application specific devices getting developed by semi-vendors these days.
This feels like Cisco’s Quantum Flow device thought process. I’ll speculate that it goes like this “We are the leader – we are the market – it’s all about software”. Hmm what hardware are we going to use? There is no processor being developed that fits our needs. We’ll have to sub it, but the sub only has us as a customer. We’ll have to show them what to do. Then the sub will try to sell this to our competitors who will have an equivalent hardware platform to develop software on. Yuck. Let’s do it ourselves. Bottom line — these monster platforms can be vertically integrated if they want to.
- PA Semi Wikipedia
- Apple disses Intel’s Atom, buys PowerPC designer P.A. Semi – Ars Technica
- Apple Buys Itself a Little Chip Company Known for Super Efficient Processors – Gizmodo
- Apple enters IC market, buys PA Semi – EETimes.com