Apple Snags Samsung Chip Expert

Jim Mergard is a 16-year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices

By on October 12th, 2012 07:54 GMT

Further attempting to bolster its chip design department, Apple Inc. in Cupertino, California has reportedly poached a Samsung employee who knows a little more than a thing or two about silicon.

Apple is said to have snagged a certain Jim Mergard, who is known to have racked up 16 years of experience at Advanced Micro Devices, and scored a short stint at Samsung most recently.

The chip veteran’s helped development of a high-profile AMD chip code-named Brazos and, according to AMD Executive Patrick Moorhead, the man has expertise in both PC chip design and system-on-a-chip (SOC) architectures, the latter being exactly what Apple uses in the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple has been steadily scaling down its reliance on Samsung Electronics, despite still having all of its A-series SOCs manufactured by the Korean company.

The two electronics giants have been embroiled in a legal spat over product design recently, where Samsung ultimately coughed up over a billion in American currency, as courts ruled in favor of the Cupertino, California-based computer giant.

Apple’s dependency on Samsung, however, is not only for the A-series of chips used in iPhones and iPads, but also for the NAND flash chips that provide the much-needed storage media.

Other components in Apple’s shiny iDevices are likely manufactured by Samsung as well.

The company formerly run by Steve Jobs regularly hires recognized talents in the tech industry to gain more control over its own designs, both visually, and internally.

The A6 SOC in the iPhone 5 is said to be the first 100% custom-designed chip for an iPhone. Apple is also rumored to attempt the same strategy on the Mac front, though history has shown that using unique processor architecture may result in compatibility issues with popular software applications.

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