As good tech consumers, we all have our opinions about the features, price point, and odds of it changing the world. Steve Jobs called it "magical". (Fake Steve says he uses neuro-linguistic programming.)
But I digress. What's the significance for chip-design engineers? Though we won't have the details from a full teardown for another couple of months, Apple did announce that they've designed the central chip in the iPad, dubbing it the "A4". Early coverage of A4 includes
- Eagerly awaiting info on Apple's A4 chip for the iPad and how its PA Semi buy fits in ... - Now Hear This! - Blog on EDN - 1750000175
- Apple-Designed Chip Marks Strategy Shift
It's intriguing that Apple has consciously decided to build an advanced chip design organization, since they are a consumer electronics company. There are comparable alternatives for single-chip mobile device computers, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon and NVIDIA Tegra. What's Apple's angle in doing it themselves? Is it just their obsessive need for secrecy? Or will they somehow integrate differentiating functions that justify the large investment and risk of running a chip design operation? It flies against the industry trend (which PC manufacturer designs its own chips?), but let's see how this plays out. I'm not foolish enough to dismiss Steve Jobs' ability to Think Different.