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Apple Adds ATI/AMD Graphics Guru to iPhone Chipset Team

The Inquirer (via iLounge) is reporting that AMD (formerly ATI) Graphics Products Group CTO Bob Drebin has updated his LinkedIn (opens in new tab) page to show he's found a new home -- at Apple.

This is another in an increasingly long line of chip-related acquisitions, licensing deals, and staffing additions Apple has made in the chipset arena in the last year, including buying PA Semi, licensing ARM and PowerVR, and hiring Mark Papermaster.

Even though leaked specs for the next gen iPhone suggest previous iPhone chip-maker Infineon is still on board for now, it's fairly clear Apple is looking to make changes further out on the product road map.

Our editor-in-chief, Dieter Bohn, is wondering what they think they know about chips that nobody else does, driving them to move this in house?

We're guessing it combines Apple's desire for control and hardware customization/differentiation. Why do you think, and more importantly, what do you think Apple is going to do with all this firepower under the iPhone (and iPod touch) hood?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Multi-tasking and better performance of course.
    But, specifically maybe looking at making a bigger grab at the portable gaming market. The iDevices are not just an iPod, mobile internet device, and phone anymore. They are going to be portable gaming power houses.
    Enter the third player in the portable gaming market; Apple.
  • More interesting to me, is when and how they'll spilt the AppStore for compatible / non-compatible apps depending on the device you have.
  • What are they planning?
    Why, simply to own the hand-held computer space, that's all.
    This buying of companies that own the patents may not be the best approach. It cuts apple off from innovative chip designers, because its very hard to justify a buy from, say, Anadigics when you have PA Semi in the back pocket, - even when the other company may have a better product.
    But just because someone transfers from a failing company to a strong one does not mean much more than he could see the writing on the wall, and made a wise career move.
  • If you want to be in front of the competition you must do it yourself. Outsourcing, or buying technology from third parties, will at best keep you on par with everyone else.
  • 2-way video on a handset is going need a powerful graphics chip that does little to drain a battery.
  • I guess the app store app it self would do the splitting up of the applications automatically. This would relatively simple to do and be transparent fit the end user. On a computer similar methods coils be used to determine which device you have based on the device you have or simply just filter the devices (added by Mobile using Mippin)