Apple flips script, buys PowerPC chipmaker PA Semi

Wow, we didn’t see this coming at all.  Apple buys PA Semi, a fabless chip company that specializes in high performance, low power PowerPC based processors for $278 million in cash.   The founder of P.A.Semi, Dan Dobberpuhl, has a history of designing StrongARM chips – the kind currently in use in the iPod Touch and iPhone – from his former work at DEC.

Let’s get this straight.  This isn’t a company that makes graphics chips or coprocessors or anything else.  They make CPUs and they are based on the Power architecture that they license from IBM.    This means that Apple’s long term strategy includes the PowerPC platform?  In their handhelds – iPods and iPhones?   Will we see a  2Ghz PowerPC iPhone in the future? 

How about desktops?  Gaming systems? 

And what about the Intel Atom?  Lots of questions we’ll hopefully get answers to later today.

Or maybe Apple just bought PA Semi for their talent and expects the new company to help integrate chips into Apple products.

Still.  Wow.

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