Samsung Electronics and Intel could see themselves going head to head after Apple revealed it has over 1,000 engineers working on new mobile and tablet processors. Steve Jobs made the announcement shortly before his death, looking to reduce Apple’s dependence on Samsung and Intel for its processor needs.This is a segment of the market that Intel is keen to break into with the delivery of new smartphone and tablet processors. Apple believe faster processors are key to stay ahead in the tablet and smartphone race.
Apple started developing its own processors in 2008, when it bought PA Semiconductor with the express goal of designing mobile processors. Electronista said that while its designs are all variants on ARM architecture, it has shown a growing intent to make its designs stand out from the off-the-shelf chips from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, or TI that would justify such a large contingent for a company that isn’t dedicated solely to processors. Recent benchmarking has shown that the A5 beats out Samsung’s chips despite theoretically running at a lower clock speed, making the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 faster in many areas than the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Apple executives have admitted that the US Company has singular goal to improve mobile technology as much as possible.
A combination of this and a broader move to flash-based storage were going to be key to Apple’s entire strategy in the future. While iOS devices and the MacBook Air were already all using solid-state technology, all of Apple’s devices were eventually headed this route, something which could see a major rethink of its design.
“Getting low power and smaller is the key to everything,” a source told Tech Crunch recently. “Form factor no longer becomes an issue.”
Sources claim that Apple is expected to switch to TSMC for the quad-core A6 and eventual A7 to be one of the first with a new 28 nanometre process. If true, it would have an early advantage over NVIDIA’s rushed 40nm Tegra 3 and head off companies like Qualcomm that are also using 28nm. The A6 as such could widen the performance lead over most Android tablets and help keep the iPad 3 and later the 2012 iPhone, out in front.