WSJ has a good article today about Apple's shift to focusing on chip design and fabrication. It's an analysis of Apple's recent hiring of Raja Koduri and Bob Drebin, both former CTOs of the graphics products group at chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
The moves follow Apple's acquisition of P.A. Semi in April 2008 which Steve Jobs explained as a way to acquire expertise and technology to help run increasingly sophisticated software on iPhones and iPods. Furthering its focus on chips Apple purchased a 3.6 percent stake of Imagination Technologies, which designs mobile graphics processors for mobile phones, in December 2008.
WSJ notes that Apple is focusing on chips more intently than ever and has several U.S. job opportunities for chip-related positions with descriptions like "testing the functional correctness of Apple developed silicon."
Perhaps the most interesting spin on Apple's recent taste for chips is that it could be privacy-related.
Besides a desire to beat rivals to market with new features, Apple's shift is also an effort to share fewer details about its technology plans with external chip suppliers...
executives have expressed concern that some information shared with outside vendors could find its way into chips sold to Apple competitors.
It's a good read.