Apple engineers working on ARM-based CPUs for iPhone

It was already pretty clear that Apple planned to grow its own chips for future versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch, but a little more clarity never hurts.

Future iPhone processors may be designed exclusively by Apple's new P.A. Semi team of engineers. CNET

The magic of social networking has confirmed that Apple plans to make its own ARM-based processors for future versions of the iPhone.

The New York Times spotted the LinkedIn profile of Wei-han Lien, Apple's senior manager of CPU development, over the weekend. Lien's job description, according to his profile, involves managing the ARM CPU design team for Apple, an extension of his previous work at P.A. Semi.

It's been pretty clear for a while that Apple bought P.A. Semi earlier this year to work on developing its own chips for the iPhone, but as the Times points out, Apple has never specifically said that it planned to make CPUs: many different chips inside a modern smartphone use a processor based on one of ARM's cores.

However, CEO Steve Jobs did say that Apple was planning to have the engineers make "system-on-chips" for the iPhone, which implies they were tackling the whole package, CPU included. Another solid hint was the disappointment expressed by Intel's Pat Gelsinger over missing out on the design win for the next-generation iPhone, as well as Apple's apparent decision to secure an architectural license for the ARM core.

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