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Apple admits to eating 'iPad chip designer'

Downs Intrinsity after PA Semi comes back up

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Yes, Apple has borged Intrinsity, the Texas-based chip outfit that (supposedly) played a role in the design of the chip driving the iPad.

Today, the Jobsian cult confirmed the buy with the New York Times. Previously, profiles posted to the social networking site known as LinkedIn indicated that Apple had borged at least a trio of Intrinsity engineers.

After "people familiar with the deal" told The Times that Apple had actually bought the chip designer, a company spokesperson confirmed the acquisition. Then, of course, the spokesman declined to say what Apple planned to do with its new purchase. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we do not comment on our purpose or plans,” said an Apple spokesman.

On April 1, EDN reported that Intrinsity had been sold while speculating that Apple was the buyer. Then Macrumors dug up LinkedIn profiles indicating that at least three Intrinsity engineers had been eaten by the cult. Since the EDN report, Intrinsity's website has been "under construction".

EDN is among the many who have speculated that the iPad's A4 chip was designed by Intrinsity and manufactured by Samsung, Others had guessed the chip was built by engineers who moved to Apple after it acquired boutique chip designer PA Semi. But this particular speculation was blunted when the world realized that several PA Semi employees had left Apple in the wake of the acquisition.

At some point, multiple PA Semi employees - including engineers - departed the Jobsian cult to form a new company dubbed Agnilux, which has since been acquired by Google. The word from The New York Times is that Agnilux was acquired to help Mountain View port its Chrome and Android OSes to tablets and TV set-top boxes, but it's worth noting that Agnilux was reportedly working on "some kind of server" before it was borged.

Last year, Samsung told the world it had teamed with Instrinsity on a 1GHz ARM chip known as the Hummingbird, and Samsung manufactures the ARM chips underpinning the Apple iPhone, a smaller version of the iPad. This has led many to assume that the Hummingbird architecture is the basis for the the A4.

Intrinsity's roots run back to Exponential Technology, an outfit that worked to build ultra-fast PowerPC chips for the Mac in the 1990s before a falling out with Apple. The Cupertino company declined to actually use the chips and Exponential ended up suing the Mac maker. ®

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