Apple Plans To Buy ARM : Did Google Know?

Could Google's decision a few hours ago to buy hardware startup Agnilux have anything to do with the fact Apple MIGHT be considering buying ARM Holdings which owns the rights to the ubiquitous ARM processor family?

Google might have been concerned by the fact that an ARMed Apple would shut down the entire smartphone market and scrambled to get hold of a processor company that doesn't include ARM IP.

P.A. Semi, which was one of these companies, got acquired by Apple in April 2008. PA Semi excelled in making the PowerPC architecture more power efficient and even designed a whole new architecture from scratch.

Not much is known of Agnilux and there are rumours that Google purchased it because it wants to build server processors. Our educated guess is that the search giant got Agnilux to provide with a foolproof solution for Android customers.

There are literally hundreds of designs that use ARM technology; to date, there are more than 600 licenses delivered for Cortex and classic ARM processors, many of which choose to remain anonymous.

For example, only half of the Cortex licenses are listed on the ARM website; even Apple which uses ARM IP in its A4 family chose not to appear on the list.

Since the rumour spread, ARM's share prices have risen by around 6 percent over the past 24 hours bringing the market capitalisation of the company to $3.35 billion.

Apple has the financial clout to buy ARM outright; doing so would significantly enhance the long run competitivity of the company and boosts its shares price massively.