Home Business IT Business Telecommunications Now Apple poaches Samsung chip designer

Now Apple poaches Samsung chip designer

Not content with suing Samsung for design infringements, Apple has now lured away one of Samsung’s leading US chip designers.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple has now hired Jim Megard, who spent 16 years as a leading designer at chip company AMD before being hired by Samsung a little over a year ago as chief system architect.

Apple has made him an offer which he obviously couldn’t refuse. Samsung has a major chip design facility and fab in Austin, Texas, where Megard worked. That facility actually makes chips for Apple, despite the difficult relationship between the two companies.

Megard is a specialist in “system on a chip” microprocessors, which combine many functions onto the one chip and which are widely used in portable devices. Apple needs expertise in this area, having relied strongly on off-the-shelf products in many of its devices.

Megard may stay in Austin, where Apple has a small operation, and commute to Cupertino – for many years there has been a daily flight dubbed the “Nerd bird” that flies between San Jose and Austin airports.

The hiring is unlikely to improve relations between Samsung and Apple, which are locked in a bitter patent dispute. Chip designers with Megard’s experience are in short supply, and he will leave the Korean company with an intimate knowledge of its design strategies.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.