Since acquiring chip manufacturer PA Semi, Apple has been coy about their plans for the company. Steve Jobs confirmed that the intention was to phase out the Infineon chips currently used in the iPhone and iPod ranges, but beyond that Apple has been its usual discrete self. Perhaps someone needs to remind that company ethos to Wei-han Lien, currently Senior Manager of Apple’s CPU team; courtesy of his LinkedIn profile he’s let slip that he’s working on the iPhone’s ARM CPU.
Since the iPhone 3G already has an ARM processor, that has led to speculation that Apple are currently making an entirely new chip custom designed for the handset’s specific needs. That would certainly fit in with Jobs’ assertion that having an in-house CPU facility would allow for specially tailored silicon.
Such a chip could integrate not only the basic core but also multitouch touchscreen support, graphics acceleration and other device-specific features, which would make the CPU more efficient and reduce the number of other chips required in future iPhones and iPods. Apple declined to comment on the rumors.
[via Unwired View]