It seems that the iPhone 5’s A6 processor is actually much more in-house in design than any of the previous A series chips before it, at least according to Anandtech. In the past, Apple has stuck pretty close to pure ARM (the company) designs.
This time around though, the A6 is based on Apple’s own ARM CPU core, not the ARM Cortex A15. This means that Apple is much more knowledgeable when it comes to processor design than ever before.
Why does it matter? For Apple it means more profits. Building your own in-house chips is much cheaper than buying chips externally. It could also spell trouble for Intel. If in-house ARM designs prove possible, there could be a time when Apple ditches x86 processor in favor of their own custom ARMs.
For those that remember, in 2006 Apple made the move from PowerPC processors to Intel. Six years and another move might seem rather quick turn around. As iOS and the AppStore evolves, its possible that Apple might eventually find that switching to the low-power consumption ARM processor might be the best move for the company.
Keep in mind this is pure speculation at this point. Having a Macbook AIR that used ARM processors and a variant of iOS would certainly yield better battery life, but it could also lead to cannibalization between the iPad and the Air (which is already happening, somewhat).
What do you think? Could Apple’s future lay with in-house ARM processors?
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