The thing about parallel processing is that there’re only so many cores that can be effectively used together. With chips eschewing stratospheric clock-speeds in favor of multiple processing cores, the challenge in reaching faster processing speeds has shifted from hardware problems to software problems. It all boils down to just how effectively any given software can leverage the growing number of parallel processing cores.
So, in typical Apple fashion, Steve Jobs has announced that Apple has made a breakthrough in parallel processing technology. New code, dubbed Grand Central, has been built in to the next iteration of Apple’s Mac OS X platform – allowing the new OS to handle parallel processing in stride. But, that’s not what we’re hear for.
Jobs also announced that Apple’s recently acquired “PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods.” So, it looks like speculation that Apple had absorbed the chip-designer to bring chip-design in-house was spot-on. Future generations of iPhones will sport multi-core chips designed by Apple’s PA Semi, and possibly fabricated by Samsung.
Apple the software company, the computer hardware company, the handset manufacturer, the chip-designer? That pretty much covers the bases for the foreseeable future.