Apple Buys Chip Maker Intrinsity: Reports

Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journalreported that Apple purchased Intrinsity, an Austin, Texas-based semiconductor developer.

The Intrinsity Website appeared on Tuesday afternoon to have been turned off. However, a check with LinkedIn shows several Intrinsity personnel moving from that company to Apple in April. The LinkedIn profile of one former employee lists Intrinsity as a company whose assets were acquired by Apple.

Intrinsity developed technology that supported the development and improvement of microprocessor cores, and its acquisition by Apple would give the company more control over the production of its consumer electronics devices.

According to the ARM community Website, Intrinsity's Fast14 NDL circuit technology allows the building of embedded IP processor cores that run twice as fast or faster than ordinary versions with little or no extra silicon area or power per MHz. Those microprocessor cores can be build using the same process as standard cores.

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Tom Halfhill, an analyst with the Microprocessor Report, estimated the cost of the acquisition to be about $121 million, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

At the Microprocessor Report Website, the teaser for a new report written Monday and now for sale called "Why Apple Wants Intrinsity" called the acquisition the latest step in Apple's plan to become a fully integrated consumer electronics company.

"By developing custom SoCs (systems on chips) and embedded-processor cores, Apple is assuming more risk, but the potential payoffs are great," the Microprocessor Report wrote.

Apple has been rumored to have acquired Intrinsity for nearly a month, according to online news site Mac Rumors.

Apple has also been the subject of recent rumors that it acquire ARM Holdings, the developer of the ARM embedded processor, but several news organization including Barrons are reporting that ARM's CEO has publically downplayed that rumor.