Evidence for Intrinsity in the iPad

There are lots of reasons to think Intrinsity's hot-rodded ARM processor is powering the iPad, and even some reasons to think Apple has acquired Intrinsity

2 min read

20 April 2010—In the January 2010 issue, IEEE Spectrum featured chip firm Intrinsity, of Austin, Texas, for its innovative streamlining of the standard smartphone CPU, the ARM Cortex-A8. Today, analysts speculate Intrinsity’s enhanced A8, dubbed ”Hummingbird,” powers the 1-GHz Apple iPad and may (within a chip bearing the Apple logo) lie at the heart of the next version of the iPhone, too.

”Actually, there’s no speculation,” market analyst Will Strauss, from Tempe, Ariz.–based Forward Concepts, says of the Hummingbird-iPad claim. ”It’s only the Intrinsity folks who could have taken it up to a gigahertz. Period.”

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The Ultimate Transistor Timeline

The transistor’s amazing evolution from point contacts to quantum tunnels

1 min read
A chart showing the timeline of when a transistor was invented and when it was commercialized.

Even as the initial sales receipts for the first transistors to hit the market were being tallied up in 1948, the next generation of transistors had already been invented (see “The First Transistor and How it Worked.”) Since then, engineers have reinvented the transistor over and over again, raiding condensed-matter physics for anything that might offer even the possibility of turning a small signal into a larger one.

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