Apple Will Use iPhoneOS/ARM On Other Platforms; Apple TV Next?

As expected, Consumer giant Apple plans to use its popular iPhone OS solution coupled with custom silicon like the newly released A4 to equip new platforms that have yet to be announced.

Computerworld unearthed a job post at Apple that points to an Engineering manager which will be responsible to manage a team in charge of "w level platform architecture, firmware, core drivers and bring-up of new hardware platforms".

Amongst other details, the successful candidate will be required to have extensive experience with ARM-based system on chips as well as experience with mobile platforms running Unix like operating systems (the iPhone OS is based on Unix).

Apple will be using customised versions of the A4 (which is apparently based on the Cortex-A8 or A9) and may offer more powerful versions of the chip especially if in a desktop-bound scenario.

The Apple TV is an obvious candidate for an ARM transition and would become the second product, after its Time Capsule to become a non-mobile ARM product at Apple.

Capturing or streaming content and offering all the features of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can easily be done by an ARM-based processor. Expect a slew of surprises from Apple for WWDC and in the forthcoming months.

Our Comments

We are already aware that as early as Q3 2009, some semiconductor companies were considering building octo-core ARM processors depending on market demand. Whether Apple will be interested in investing in ARM will be something we will be following.

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