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Apple reportedly takes on 12 former AMD engineers for 'Orlando GPU team'

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Coming on the heels of job postings for chip engineers at Apple's Orlando Design Center, it was discovered that the Cupertino company recently picked up at least 12 former AMD graphics specialists for its "Orlando GPU team," suggesting research and development into custom SoCs is being accelerated.

A6


According to the new employees' LinkedIn profiles, as reported by MacRumors, a number of the 12 known engineers were actually hired in January, some two months before a handful of Orlando-based job listings were posted to Apple's website.

Among those hired were a graphics architect and a hardware engineer, hinting at Apple's ongoing custom in-house mobile chip design, though the new employees' exact duties remain unclear.

It appears Apple still has positions to fill in Florida, as the company's corporate hiring site today posted a listing for a "Site Manager," who will be leading the Orlando GPU team. While the position looks to be mostly managerial, it does require applicants to have over ten years of experience in leading "high performance GFX (or equivalent complexity) IP development teams."

In addition, Apple is also looking for identical candidates in its home base of Cupertino, suggesting the company is ramping up research and development of its custom-designed mobile chips.

The company has been designing its own custom mobile processors since 2010, when the A4 chip debuted with the first-generation iPad. Taking a step further into chip creation, Apple last year unveiled its first in-house designed CPU core with the A6 SoC found in the iPhone 5.
post #2 of 18

AMD has been bleeding talent for the last few months. Nice to see where they were going.

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post #3 of 18

I think the bigger story will be the partnerships later struck between Apple and AMD, with Custom ARM SoC that includes AMD Radeon IP.

post #4 of 18
Keep 'em comin' in the front door.

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post #5 of 18
Does anyone think Apple is looking into making their own x86 chips? I don't see a path for that makes sense but I'm open to the possibility.

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post #6 of 18
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Does anyone think Apple is looking into making their own x86 chips? I don't see a path for that makes sense but I'm open to the possibility.

Wow, I don't know. I think they're more focused on ARM stuff, especially for the low-power aspect of that architecture. I suppose they could conceivably be looking into something like that for the Mac line, but ... I'll probably end up looking back at what I've just typed in a year or so and laugh at myself. :)

post #7 of 18
The talent has gone in the other direction, too. After Papermaster was turfed from Apple, he was recruited by AMD. A few Apple engineers have joined him.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

The talent has gone in the other direction, too. After Papermaster was turfed from Apple, he was recruited by AMD. A few Apple engineers have joined him.

 

Hence my comment on future joint collaborations with the ARM SoC designs and more.

post #9 of 18
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Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

Hence my comment on future joint collaborations with the ARM SoC designs and more.

Since Papermater was let go and not hired away from Apple this doesn't help your wild assumption at all.

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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Does anyone think Apple is looking into making their own x86 chips? I don't see a path for that makes sense but I'm open to the possibility.

 

Nope. Not before they make their own Thunderbolt chips.

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post #11 of 18
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Nope. Not before they make their own Thunderbolt chips.

If they make their own TB chips it will be to support ARM chips.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


If they make their own TB chips it will be to support ARM chips.


"I'll buy that for a dollar."  :)

But seriously, does Apple as the TB co-developer have full rights to evolve and market that technology in any way they want without owing Intel anything for IP, i.e., full royalty-free cross-licensing of the relevant patents?  After all, I don't imagine Apple gets a cut of every TB chipset Intel sells to any maker selling TB PC's or peripherals.....

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post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


"I'll buy that for a dollar."  1smile.gif
That would be the most money I've made all week. 😅😅😅😅
Quote:

But seriously, does Apple as the TB co-developer have full rights to evolve and market that technology in any way they want without owing Intel anything for IP, i.e., full royalty-free cross-licensing of the relevant patents?
That is a really good but unanswered question. I can't imagine that Apple got involved in the development of TB without some sort of agreement. Further I really don't know how' much of the IP is Apples and what is Intels. The interesting thing here is Intels reluctance to license out the tech and frankly their dragging of feet promoting and signing up developers.
Quote:
  After all, I don't imagine Apple gets a cut of every TB chipset Intel sells to any maker selling TB PC's or peripherals.....
You really don't know. As it is today we don't fully understand Apples role in the development of TB.
post #14 of 18
All I ask is that they find a way to fab whatever they design in their own facility. So sick and tired of Apple's hard work being appropriated by others.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post


"I'll buy that for a dollar."  :)

But seriously, does Apple as the TB co-developer have full rights to evolve and market that technology in any way they want without owing Intel anything for IP, i.e., full royalty-free cross-licensing of the relevant patents?  After all, I don't imagine Apple gets a cut of every TB chipset Intel sells to any maker selling TB PC's or peripherals.....


Stories posted on here suggested Apple contributed a connector. Co-developer seems a bit strong. It's never been suggested that Apple has any ownership beyond holding the patent on the connector. I know at least Sony tried to run it over usb3, but that was a failure. I don't know why you guys think Apple is tied to it forever. Adoption is likely low enough that if they wanted to go with something different, they wouldn't be hindered by legacy products.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

All I ask is that they find a way to fab whatever they design in their own facility. So sick and tired of Apple's hard work being appropriated by others.

So what has been stolen?

The reality is this, to build and buy all of the required technology to build your own fab would cost Apple billions. Probably well over ten billion to get started. Then each year another 3 to 5 billion to maintain a bleeding edge fab. All that money would be laid out for a fab that would not be utilized fully so then you have Apple paying much higher unit costs for each chip that comes out of the fab.

In any event there is nothing to indicate that Apple building its own fab would result in a positive outcome for Apple. Now if we are talking about a manufacturing plant here in the USA that is a different story. Then it becomes a question of Apple building a factory that can handle high volumes and maintain a worthwhile staff. You may here all sorts of stories about the unemployed but believe me that doesn't mean you have a viable source of employees. I'd like to see Apple do something more in the USA or just diversify outside of China, but that isn't as easy as some think.

WWDC will be most interesting as I suspect that we will see and hear about the new product being produced in the USA. I really want to see a high volume machine like the Mini produced here but frankly I think they will go the minimal effort route with the Mac Pro.
post #17 of 18
Hmmm, perhaps this indicates that Apple is looking to move away from licensing Imagination Technologies' PowerVR chips in future A-series chip designs?
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinthar View Post

Hmmm, perhaps this indicates that Apple is looking to move away from licensing Imagination Technologies' PowerVR chips in future A-series chip designs?

Either that or they intend to customize them like they have the ARM cores.
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