Apple Is Looking To Buy Beleaguered Japanese Chipmaker [Rumor]

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When Apple starts sniffing around, looking to buy a company, it’s time to pay attention. That goes double if they make chips. Back in 2008, Apple purchased P.A. Semi, a low-powered chipmaker, whose acquisition soon paved the way for an entire series of revolutionary ARM based chips. And recently, Apple purchased a low-energy chip maker who could help power the iWatch.

Now Apple’s out to do it again, this time with Renesas SP, if reports can be believed. But what for?

According to a report from Reuters, Apple has opened discussions to purchase the majority of Renesas SP, a Japanese chipmaker that is going through some rough financial times.

Apple has a previous relationship with Renesas SP, in that the latter company owns 55% of Renesas SP Driver, a similarly named company that supplies chips that drive the screens that Apple’s iPhones use. The company is strong in making chips that support insanely high resolutions, like Retina, as well as advanced power-saving features. It’s possible they have something even more impressive than Retina in the pipeline. Retina 2, perhaps?

Apple may not actually be thinking of a new product here, but trying to control as much of its supply chain as possible. If Renesas SP goes under, or gets taken over by a competitor, that could mean difficulties building future iPhones that depend upon that company’s technology. And considering Apple’s ongoing dispute with Samsung, they definitely don’t want them to get their hold on the company.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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