Apple ARM acquisition rumored

After rumors that Apple and AMD execs had been holding clandestine meetings, presumably whispering about CPUs and GPUs while nibbling on illicit biscotti, the city speculation now moves on to the possibility of an ARM acquisition.  According to the London Evening Standard, investors have been gurgling about how bringing the mobile chip manufacturer in-house "would make a lot of sense for Apple" since it would allow them to "stop ARM's technology from ending up in everyone else's computers and gadgets."

In the process, they've valued ARM at more than $5.2bn, and suggested that Apple is the firm's biggest customer (though we're not sure how they've worked that out).  ARM chips have found their way into the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and it's possible that Apple could use one of the newer, HD-capable chips to replace the ageing 1GHz Intel Pentium found in the Apple TV.

Of course, Apple would likely have to run the gauntlet of antitrust investigation if they did in fact plan to pick up ARM.  Even if the acquisition was approved, it's possible that they wouldn't cut off other company's access to the chips; despite acquiring PA Semiconductor, the firm continued to supply processors to their clients.

[Image via iFixit]