Apple hires chip design luminary away from Samsung

“Samsung recently raised eyebrows by beefing up its team of Texas-based chip designers, including those whose backgrounds pointed to an interest in chips for server systems. Now one of the most prominent of those recruits has left the South Korean company for Apple,” Don Clark reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The gadget maker has hired Jim Mergard, a 16-year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices who was a vice president and chief engineer there before he left for Samsung,” Clark reports. “He is known for playing a leading role in the development of a high-profile AMD chip that carried the code name Brazos and was designed for low-end portable computers.”

Clark reports, “Patrick Moorhead, a former AMD executive who now leads the research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, said Mergard brings deep expertise in both PC technology as well as in products known as SoCs – systems on a chip – that combine various kinds of special-function circuitry on a single piece of silicon. Besides the current breed of Apple smartphones and tablets, Moorhead says Mergard’s talents could potentially be applied to Apple’s PC efforts, where its Macs use Intel chips but not SoCs. ‘He would be very capable of pulling together internal and external resources to do a PC processor for Apple,’ Moorhead says.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Heh! Slavish copier Samsung couldn’t even compete with Apple before. Now they’ll just fall even further behind. Samsung: Slower, less efficient processors stuck into chintzy plastic cases with noticeably inferior build-quality.

Related articles:
Apple’s powerful A6 a unique CPU design that’s never been seen before – October 8, 2012
Analysis of Apple A6 core reveals exquisite, optimized custom layout done by hand – September 26, 2012
Apple A6 die reveals 3-core GPU – September 21, 2012
iPhone 5′s A6 SoC SunSpider performance fastest ever recorded on a smartphone – September 19, 2012
Apple’s custom A6 processor the result of years of effort, including a $500 million chip development program – September 18, 2012
A6 is Apple’s first with custom-designed CPU cores; iPhone 5 memory size and speed revealed – September 16, 2012


  1. I still don’t see this happening on the current PC platform. By the time Apple created a worthy chip and reengineered OSX to take advantage, the PC industry will hopefully be much different. I expect Apple to be targeting future iOS devices and other post PC devices. We will see in a few years. More chip designers is a good thing for apple though.

  2. This appears to be a TNW pre-emptive strike from Apple.

    Somewhere at sometime I read SPJ reaction to the Segway, basically he said it wouldn’t make $ because it was easily copied.

    IMO this is another notch in Apple’s ‘There is no way you can copy this Sh!t with off the shelve (cheap) parts’ belt.

    Go Apple!

    1. I doubt that Apple is even close to hundreds, let alone thousands of chip engineers. They didn’t have that number when I worked for them, and even thought they have purchased several small chip design companies, hundreds is still a stretch. Where do you get your inflated statistics?

  3. You don’t need talented design eng. when all you do is copy other peoples work, Mr. Mergard had to be less than impressed with Samsuck, and jumped at the chance to work for a real company instead of a thief.

    1. Ouch! That will leave a mark.
      Samdung, like Giggle will rue the day that they decided to challenge their betters. There is lotsa $ to be made working with Apple, backstabbing Apple is a sure path destruction.

    2. I think Mergard was at Samsung not to do original work but was ordered to rip off the designs of other companies. Copiers do not want to wait years before reaping the fruits of their own labor. To copy will take only months to come out with imitation products. Mergard, being a true engineer, felt insulted with Samsung’s short-cut policy and decided to jump ship.

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