The Wall Street Journal reports that former AMD chip designer and executive Jim Mergard has been hired at Apple. Mergard is a 16 year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices who was a vice president and chief engineer there before he left for Samsung. He is known to have played a leading role in the development of a high-profile AMD chip.
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. 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. [...]
It is not clear whether Mergard will work at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters or remain in Austin, where he worked for AMD and Samsung. Apple has long operated a customer support center in the Texas capitol, but the company has had a local presence in chip design as well since its 2010 purchase of the startup Intrinsity.
The report quotes former AMD executive Patrick Moorhead as saying that Mergard has expertise in both PC chip design and system-on-a-chip design such as that used for Apple’s iOS devices. Apple uses ARM-based designs for its A-series chips that power its iOS device, and the latest A6 chip in the iPhone 5 has been reported to be Apple’s first custom design. This hire marks a significant talent win for Apple as it continues its efforts to build its own chips.