Following Apple’s recent legal victory against Samsung over patent infringement, and the growing distance between the two companies, The Wall Street Journal reports that Jom Mergard, one of Samsung’s top chip designers, has just jumped ship to Apple.
The gadget maker [Apple] has hired Jim Mergard, a 16-year veteran of Advanced Micro Devices AMD -14.37% 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.
The hire is notable for several reasons. It marks Apple’s continued efforts to distance itself from Samsung, who currently supply the majority of Apple’s chips. As Apple continues to hire chip design talent, it they will eventually be able to move away from Samsung by creating their own chips in-house rather than relying on Samsung to manufacture them.
Also interesting is that, according to the report, Mergard also has experience in designing chips for PC in addition to mobile devices. There have been whispers of Apple testing custom ARM-based chips in the MacBook Air, and with talent like Mergard on board, the idea of future Macs that run on custom-built Apple chips becomes more of a possibility.