P.A. Semi, the chip design company Apple picked up for a song, is best known for its super-efficient PWRficient processor, a PowerPC variant. One of the big customers for the CPU is the Department of Defence, which makes use of it in programs in every major branch of the military, and they're not thrilled by the possibility of Apple ending production of the chips.
Ten defence systems, to the tune of US$100 million in products over the next four years, use P.A. Semi's PWRficient processor. On Monday, P.A. Semi told its customers they were being acquired and couldn't guarantee chip supplies anymore. (Brings us back to the problem of obsolete tech in the military.)
It's possible the licensing issues could get worked out to maintain supply "on an end-of-life basis" but in that same statement, P.A. noted that their buyer (Apple) wasn't interested in their products or roadmap, just their IP and engineering skills. Which means Apple has no interest in anything their currently making or about to make, despite Blam's reasonable assumption that was the case. So it's all about their design chops, or they really are just a bargaining chip. [EETimes via GigaOM]