Apple buys Intrinsity for relative pittance

Apple has confirmed to the New York Times that it has bought out Intrinsity, a small company thought by some analysts to be behind the chip technology in the iPad.

Intrinsity is known by those who need to know as a company which specialises in speedy mobile device chips. It specialises particularly in A4 chips and mysteriously its engineers have managed to clock a speed figure of 1 GHz on its chips, which is the same speed as the A4 inside the iPad. Samsung, which officially provided the ARM-based chips and A4s for Apple, had rumblings with the 1GHz Intrinsity “Hummingbird” technology.

The ghost of Jim Morrison, or more likely a product manager at Chipworks who’s heard them all before, told The Wall Street Journal that it’s likely the Apple A4 was developed by Intrinsity.

The acquisition of Intrinsity was closed in March. Official figures for the buy-out aren’t available at this time, and may never be, but Tom R. Halfhill, Microprocessor Report analyst, told The New York Times that Intrinsity probably got flogged for $121 million, half of what Jobs’ Mob forked out for chip company PA Semi in 2008. It seems Apple is happy to throw what is a relatively very small portion of its cash about if it means the company will eventually blag the upper hand in certain markets.