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Apple snatches chip veteran from Samsung

Apple has just hired a chip making veteran from Samsung, which could have implications for not only Apple and Samsung, but also Intel. 

Apple has just hired a veteran in the chip making industry, Jim Mergard, whose 16 year career with AMD led him to the positions of vice president, as well as chief engineer. Mergard is responsible for the development of AMD's mobile APU "Brazos". 16 months ago, Mergard finally left AMD to work for Samsung as chief system architect, but now, he's left that company as well, in favor of a position at Apple.

Naturally, this will impact Samsung, and perhaps more than one would think: Apple is currently dependent on Samsung for manufacturing their touch devices. Though the design is carried out by apple, the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch all make use of the A5 and A6 processors which are manufactured by Samsung. Thus, as Apple's expertise grows, their reliance on Samsung diminishes. And that means a potentially massive future loss for Samsung.

Jim Mergard

Similarly, Intel manufactures the CPUs for Apple's Macintosh computers. Mergard's expertise may help develop chips for the Macs as well, thus reducing Apple's reliance on Intel as well. Patrick Moorhead, former executive for AMD, stated that Mergard could absolutely help make Apple more independent: "[He] would be very capable of pulling together internal and external resources to do a PC processor for Apple."

The implications of switching to hardware unique to apple would mean returning to how Macs were built prior to 2006; that is, without the ability to natively run operating systems such as Windows alongside Mac OS X (though this would still be possible through emulators). Is this Apple's plan, and if so, will it work?

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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