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It's official: SoftBank is buying ARM for $31 billion

Japan’s SoftBank is acquiring ARM Holdings for $32 billion. The British chip design firm dominates the smartphone market, with its lineup of chips used in 95% of handsets today. The number of devices running ARM-designed hardware has crossed 15 billion last year.

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Regarding ARM-based Macs...again

An analyst report making the rounds today suggests that Apple will get ARM-based Macs into production sometime next year. Forgive me if I yawn a bit, but this is nothing new. Last year, Rene wrote an editorial about a previous ARM Mac rumor too. According the new rumor, propagated by KGI Research, Apple will get into production a Mac using a future version of the same ARM CPU hardware it already manufactures for the iPhone and iPad. The report suggests that Apple would build a low-end machine based on this hardware, leaving Intel to provide faster chips for the rest of the Mac line, at least for now.

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Is Intel doomed on the Mac?

With apologies to Mark Twain, the reports of Intel's death on the Mac are greatly exaggerated

Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée recently offered his opinion on the future of the Mac. In his blog post Macintel: The End Is Nigh, Gassée predicts the imminent demise of Intel-based Macs. Is he right?

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Apple's 64-bit A7 chip "hit us in the gut," says Qualcomm employee

Despite Qualcomm's comments to the contrary, Apple's introduction of the 64-bit A7 processor used in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and Retina iPad mini has sent people within Qualcomm into a panic. That's the word from an article posted to Hubspot by Dan Lyons - he of "Fake Steve Jobs" fame - who joined Hubspot earlier this year as "Marketing Fellow."

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Expect better graphics in future iPhones and iPads, thanks to ARM's Geomerics acquisition

ARM, the company that develops the chip architecture used by Apple in its iOS devices, has acquired Geomerics, a developer of graphics technology that's used to create realistic lighting effects in games. The acquisition may lead to ARM processor designs with more sophisticated graphics capabilities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, according to VentureBeat.

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Intel to start manufacturing 64-bit... ARM. Cue inevitable 'Apple A8' speculation!

Color everyone surprised by this one, but at the ARM developers conference Intel partner Altera has announced that the company will begin producing 64-bit ARM chips. Intel has been trying to break into the mobile space currently dominated by ARM with their own chips, so this latest news is definitely of the surprising variety.

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Apple A6 reportedly a custom ARM CPU, PowerVR SGX 543MP3, 1GB of RAM

At the iPhone 5 event on September 12, Apple not only announced a new iPhone, but also a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) sequentially named the Apple A6. While we'd heard about this new chipset prior to the event, we hadn't heard anything specific. Rumors ranged from an updated, higher clocked version of last year's dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based Apple A5 with a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, to a bleeding edge ARM A15 and PowerVR 6 "Rogue". Turns out the Apple A6 is nothing as conservative or futuristic as either of those things -- it's something even more exciting. It's Apple's first custom-designed ARM chipset.

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Secret Apple project worked to port Mac OS X to iPad-style ARM processors

In 2010, Apple’s Platform Technologies Group (a subdivision of the CoreOS department) spent some working on a previously-embargoed project to port the Mac OS X Darwin kernel to the ARMv5 chipset architecture -- the same family of chipsets that currently powers iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

Here's a snippet from the project Porting Darwin to the MV88F6281, subtitled ARMing the Snow Leopard:

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ARM, Opera, former US Secretary of Labor weigh in on Apple, Adobe, and Flash

Companies and individuals as diverse as mobile chip-licenser ARM, browser-maker Opera, and former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich are offering opinions on Adobe, Flash, Apple's restriction on cross-compilers, and rumors of an Adobe-prompted DOJ/FTC inquiry into Apple -- and they won't be making Adobe very happy.

ARM flat out says Adobe's Flash has held back the delivery of smartbooks (think netbooks running on smartphone-scale ARM-processors). Adobe and ARM signed a partnership in 2008 and ARM hoped Flash would be up and running by 2009, but say it's "slipped". They think we'll see it in late 2010 (though there was outcry the iPhone didn't have it in 2007, right?)

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Apple buys chip designer Intrisity for $121 million

Apple has bought chip designer Intrisity for $121 million. Given the rapidity and speed of the Apple A4 chipset debuted alongside the iPad, rumors have persisted that Intrisity was behind the new system-on-chip (SoC), but confirmation took a while to arrive.

Intrisity was able to take the standard ARM Cortex A8 found in 650MHz flavor in the iPhone 3GS and competing smartphones and speed it up to 1GHz.

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