Report: Apple tablet will have PA Semi chips

The chip company purchased last year by Apple has been split into two teams, one focusing on a touch-screen tablet.

Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.
Erica Ogg

The Apple rumor mill kicked into high gear again Monday regarding the much discussed, yet still mythical Apple tablet. But a significant new piece of information emerged.

Tech blog Venture Beat is reporting that PA Semi, the chip company Apple bought last year whose specific function within Apple has thus far been unclear, will be designing the chips for an Apple tablet in house. Dean Takahashi wrote Monday, "PA Semi's team was split into two parts, one designing portable ARM-based processors for iPhones and iPods, and another designing a processor for the tablet device."

The PA Semi team has some renowned chip designers, and there have been recent Wall Street Journal reports that Steve Jobs has been personally overseeing the development of a tablet-like device, and that Apple also has a large chip design project in the works. Taken together, all three reports seem to make sense.

But the round of rumors regarding the supposed tablet from earlier in the day point to an October launch time frame for the device. There's no actual evidence for that. Apple did do a Mac notebook event in October last year, and it's conceivable it could do another one, bringing out a touch-screen tablet in time for the holidays.

But October is very soon. Reports from Apple analyst Gene Munster, beginning in May, have repeatedly pinpointed a tablet launch in early 2010.