April 24, 2008 In an intriguing piece of news reported by Forbes.com, Apple looks set to buy microprocessor design outfit PA Semi for an (unconfirmed) $278 million. Apple, which also released its quarterly earnings today, has declined to comment on the strategy underlying the move but already speculation is rife on whether the company will begin producing its own chips for the iPhone.
Founded by Dan Dobberpuhl, PA Semi specializes in high-processing, low power designs and last year announced a 64-bit dual core microprocessor that uses 5 to 13 watts running at 2 gigahertz - said to be 300% more efficient than comparable chips. If Apple do incorporate PA Semi chips into its own products it will be at least a year before these see the light of day according to the Forbes report. An alternative point of view, as set out by Owen Thomas at Valleywag, is that the move is designed to put Apple in a stronger bargaining position with its existing chip suppliers to get the technical innovations it wants.
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Meanwhile, things are still looking rosy in the Apple camp. Financial results posted today for its fiscal 2008 second quarter show revenue of $7.51 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.05 billion, or $1.16 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $5.26 billion and net quarterly profit of $770 million, or $.87 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. The company shipped 2,289,000 Macintosh® computers, 10,644,000 iPods and 1,703,000 iPhones™ during the reporting period.
“We’re delighted to report 43 percent revenue growth and the strongest March quarter revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With over $17 billion in revenue for the first half of our fiscal year, we have strong momentum to launch some terrific new products in the coming quarters.”