A4: The Billion Dollar Chip?
Reading through an article in the New York Times on why chipmakers must be focussing on smartphones to be part of the future, we got a piece of information about Apple’s A4 chip that powers the iPad: that its a billion dollar chip.
At the same time, Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm are designing their own takes on ARM-based mobile chips that will be made by the contract foundries. Even without the direct investment of a factory, it can cost these companies about $1 billion to create a smartphone chip from scratch.
Before Intel can get a firm leg in the game with its Atom chip, the ARM folks have figured out two important points, both critical for a smartphone chip: Power consumption and Price. The race to power the next gen mobile devices is definitely on, and in full speed.