Dean Takahashi adds to the Apple tablet rumors today that its processor will be designed in-house, making it the first chip to come out of Apple's PA Semi acquisition. Which could be more telling than it would seem.
From what we've seen of PA Semi's activities in Apple, they're working on ARM chips—the same kind of chip that's in most mobile phones.
It's possible they're working on other chip designs, but given what we've heard previously, it seems to suggest the possibility that the tablet could be running on ARM chips (with some extra graphics muscle), along with the iPhone and iPod touch. If the tablet is using ARM, it'd suggest something closer to a netbook in power, definitely not the MacBook Pro Touch that Jesus strokes himself to sleep every night dreaming about. Which incidentally, would fit neatly under the recently entirely Pro-ified notebook lineup.
To take that one step further—hardware power in between the MacBook Pro and iPhone—it would also seem to suggest an OS that's somewhere in between the iPhone OS and full blown OS X. Which is in some ways a given, since the UI challenges of a tablet are not insignificant—a giant iPod touch doesn't sound that appealing or like much of a breakthrough, after all, and a standard desktop OS simply retrofitted with touch has never worked out very well before.
Either way, it seems likely that the tablet is as good a place as any for Apple to flaunt their very expensive new processor expertise. But you know what we say about rumors: Never trust them. [Venture Beat]