Sunday, May 3, 2009

Apple's one acquisition

Apple's only acquisition made over the past year or so has been to buy P.A. Semi, Inc. for $278 million in cash. P.A. Semi is a fabless semiconductor company that develops processors for the high-performance embedded-computing markets.

So when Apple does buy, it's time to pay attention.

The company's low-power chips might be utilized in the ongoing development of the iPhone and iPod product lines. In addition to developing chips to reduce the power consumption of its iPhone and iPod touch products, Apple might well build graphics circuitry to enable its devices play more realistic games and high-definition videos.

Notorious for its secrecy, Apple move into semiconductors also reflects its desire to keep its technology plans closer to its chest. Apple management has expressed concern that outside chip partners might be too generous in sharing information that Apple considers proprietary.