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Apple Dips Into Chips

Apple is reportedly readying a chip division.


Speculation about the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's possible move into developing its own chips heated up following a report in The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

A source told the paperthat Apple would create chips to greatly reduce power consumption of iPhones and iPod touch devices.

The move wouldn't be surprising to Apple watchers since the company has been hiring top executives from processing giants such as AMD, and has acquired a chip manufacturer as well as purchased a stake in another processor maker.

In April 2008, Apple scooped up PA Semi for $278 million.

"PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, according to The New York Times during Apple's June 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference.

In December 2008, Apple bought a 3.6 percent stake in Imagination Technologies Group worth roughly $4.8 million. Apple is a licensee of the company's technology.

At that time, My Digital Life said that a reliable source told it that Apple may have already started working on its next-generation Silicon on Chip (SoC).

In building out its stable of chip experts, Apple recently hired Bob Drebin, AMD's former CTO of its Graphics Products Group, as a senior director. Drebin comes with an impressive resume. Prior to his role at AMD, he was engineering director/fellow at ATI Technologies. He came to ATI by way of its acquisition of ArtX in 2000. At ArtX, he developed the graphics processor for Nintendo's GameCube, according to his profile. And prior to that, he spent nine years at Silicon Graphics.

Just days ago, Apple lured Raja Koduri, AMD's CTO, Graphics Product Group, to its stable. Koduri also did a stint at ATI as the director of its Advanced Technology Development group.

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