Looking Back on Apple’s Acquisition of P.A. Semi

Rik Myslewski, writing for Macworld back in 2008:

Apple’s purchase of a microprocessor design firm has triggered a wave of speculation over what the computer maker plans to do with its newly acquired assets. Perhaps, the thinking goes, the purchase means a new chip to power future iPhone models. Or maybe it will push Apple into new areas of portable computing. It might even mean a return of sorts to the company’s PowerPC days.

But after a closer look at the deal, the answer could be — and probably is — none of the above.

I’ll admit that sometimes I post old articles to make hay out of someone’s shortsightedness. Here, though, I remember agreeing with Myslewski. I thought the P.A. Semi acquisition was about talent, not specific silicon I.P. — and I could not have been more wrong. The idea — in 2008 — that this acquisition would take Apple to where it is today was just unimaginable. If Myslewski had written back then that he expected Apple to — in just over a decade — design chips that were both faster and far more power-efficient than Intel’s, we’d have thought he was nuts.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021