ARM Stories April 5

AAPL: 144.02

-0.75

Apple’s announcement earlier this week that it plans to design its own GPUs for future iPhones and iPads did more than signal bad news for Imagination Technologies. It also added weight to the idea that Apple will at some point want to ditch Intel chips in Macs in favour of its own design of ARM-based CPUs.

The arguments in favor of Apple designing its own Mac processors are exactly the same ones that led the company to design its own A-series chips for iOS devices. Apple gets total control – something the company values highly.

Control of costs is part of it, of course. Tim Cook in particular got to the position he’s in today in large part by demonstrating a mastery of the supply-chain, and a significant goal there is to keep costs as low as possible in order to maximise margins. Apple eliminates royalty fees by designing its own chips, and that will further boost margins.

But while cost is of course one motivation, there are two even more important benefits to Apple-designed CPUs …

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ARM Stories February 1

AAPL: 128.75

7.40

Bloomberg reports that Apple is currently developing a new ARM-based chip that could appear in future MacBook Pros as soon as this year. According to the report, the new Mac chip may be used for low-power tasks that currently rely on Intel’s chip to process.

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ARM Stories July 18, 2016

AAPL: 99.83

1.05

Update: The acquisition by Softbank was completed on 5th September, for £24M ($32M). TechCrunch notes that ARM is being delisted from the London Stock Exchange today, and will be run as a standalone business within Softbank. The sale is not expected to have any impact on Apple, which licences ARM technology for the A-series chips it uses in iOS devices.

ARM, the British chip designer responsible behind the A-series processors used in Apple’s iOS devices, looks set to be bought by Japanese telecoms company Softbank.

The deal will need to be approved by shareholders, but with ARM recommending it and a valuation 43% above last week’s closing price, it looks likely to go through. It is, however, possible that other companies may make their own bid for the company.

Both Intel and Apple have been suggested as potential bidders …

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ARM Stories March 16, 2016

AAPL: 105.97

1.39

Apple chip maker TSMC and designer ARM partner on 7nm process, likely destined for iPhone 8

Apple chipmaker TSMC and chip designer ARM have announced that they will work together to create a 7nm FinFET process expected to enter early production in late 2017 and mass production in 2018. This would put it on track for an A11 chip in the iPhone 8.

Apple originally used ARM chips in its iOS devices, switching to its own custom chip when it launched the iPhone 5, though still using an ARM instruction set. TSMC has so far been one of two A-processor chipmakers alongside Samsung, but is rumored to be the sole producer for the A10 chip in the iPhone 7.

ARM Stories February 3, 2015

Apple chip partner ARM debuts 16nm Cortex-A72 with better speed, power consumption

ARM, the British processor designer responsible for the core chip technology found inside many of Apple’s past iOS devices, today announced the Cortex-A72 — its latest mobile CPU design, designed to run at up to 2.5GHz and improve the processing power of next-generation smartphones. Combined with an enhanced graphics chip such as ARM’s Mali-T880, the new CPU promises to enable upcoming phones to offer “console-class gaming performance,” up to 120fps 4K video capture, and natural language user interfaces.

ARM Stories May 25, 2014

MacBidouille is the source of an interesting new rumor [translation] that Apple is currently experimenting with new ARM-powered Mac variants that include a Magic trackpad built into the system’s keyboard. The company is also reportedly working on a new version of OS X that will be compatible with these ARM machines.

According to MacBidouille’s sources, Apple is developing three new machines with this configuration: the aforementioned iMac and Mac mini as well as a 13″ MacBook, presumably a MacBook Air. The iMac and notebook are both said to have “4 or 8” quad-core arm64 processors, while the Mac mini has only four.

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