Apple buys chipmaker Intrinsity

The company rumored to be the maker of the chip inside the iPad has been acquired by Apple. It's Apple's fourth acquisition since last fall.

Apple iPad chips
Apple has acquired Intrinsity, the chipmaker thought to have helped build the iPad's processor. iFixit

A month after the rumors first started flying, Apple finally confirmed that it has indeed purchased Intrinsity, a Texas-based chipmaker.

Apple confirmed the acquisition on Tuesday to The New York Times, though it did not disclose the purchase price or what Apple's plans for Intrinsity are. One guess has the value at $121 million.

It's the second chipmaker purchased by Apple in two years starting with P.A. Semi, which it bought for $278 million. It's also the fourth acquisition Apple has made since last fall; it bought map API maker PlaceBase in October, social music site LaLa in December, and mobile ad company Quattro Wireless in January for $275 million.

Though it appears like Apple is on a bit of a shopping spree right now, the company has the funds to back it up. At the end of its second fiscal quarter of 2010, Apple reported it had accumulated $41.7 billion in cash. Though Steve Jobs told investors at the annual company meeting that he had no plans to use that to offer a dividend to shareholders, he did hint what he'd rather do instead.

"You never know what opportunity is around the corner," Jobs said at the February meeting. "We're very fortunate that if we needed to acquire something we could write a check for it and not have to borrow money." In light of the recent string of purchases, that could be a hint there are even more small acquisitions like this to come.

But what does Apple need Intrinsity for? It's unclear, but it's been rumored that the chipmaker is the outfit that assisted Samsung in building the speedy processor inside the iPad.

 

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