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Apple has 1,000 engineers working on chips for the post-PC

Posted by VdoCity Sunday, October 9, 2011
When I think about what will happen to Apple without Steve Jobs, I keep coming back to a conversation I had last week with a veteran Silicon Valley executive director that Jobs knew. This was just after Jobs had resigned as CEO of Apple. We got to talking about why Apple is well positioned in the post-PC era, and this executive focused on something not often heard. "Steve Jobs told me he has 1,000 engineers working on chips," he said. "Getting low power and lower the key to everything."

The number was surprising when I first heard it. I knew that Apple started to build their own chip design team in 2009, but I thought it had to be a few hundred people at most, not 5 percent of Apple's non-distribution of labor. (Apple has more than 50,000 people worldwide, 30,000 of them in their retail stores). Apple began designing its own chips from Intel and AMD, because they were still trapped in the PC era. Apple needs the chips that are powerful enough, but very low power.

Battery life is one of the most important features of a mobile device. Apple's latest A5 processor, which first appeared in the iPhone 2, now the power of the iPhone 4S well. Not only is the double A5 A4 faster than the current iPhone 4, but slightly improves the battery life with 8 hours of talk time (up to 7 hours).

Not only are Apple processors very energy efficient, but Apple is also removing the hard drives of their products and their replacement by flash memory chips. It is not just for iPhones and iPads, MacBook Air memory is also flash. All Apple products are moving in this direction. When combined, these two fundamental changes at the silicon level, "form factor and does not become a problem," said the CEO of Silicon Valley.

You can put a team in anything. Mobile phones and tablets, no doubt. TV, maybe. But what else? Is limited only by the imagination of engineers from Apple and what makes sense from a product standpoint.

When Jobs was removed, TechCrunch writer MG Siegler warned against focusing too much on the next iPhone. Jobs left Apple in the knowledge that a number of post-PC products will be presented in the coming years. MG wrote:

It is the road map and should be on showing the final results "of fireworks.

Talking with sources in recent months, there has been a common refrain: that the things that Apple is working on right now are the best things that the company has ever made. These are things that will "blow your mind," I'm told.

Jobs said when he resigned, "I think brighter days and more innovative Apple is ahead of him." Now let's see what he meant by that. Apple's Jobs rebuilt from the silicon up. The enterprise itself is your best product. And like all products, everything fits: the chips, hardware, software, industrial design, development platform, tightly controlled manufacturing, marketing, retail stores.

This machine is proving to be experts in the manufacture and sale of mobile computers, phones and tablets. But remember also that we are only at the beginning of the post-PC. The iPhone launched 4 years ago, the iPad only a year and a half ago. It is becoming more practical to put a computer in anything. Of course, just because you can does not mean you should. And in any case, Apple is very disciplined about choosing what not to do (another feature of Steve Jobs). But if you believe that after the PC devices include more than just phones and tablets, is not such a crazy idea that one day Apple will be producing well.


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