For Apple, the favorite place to shop for a chip designer seems to be AMD or at least for the last decade or so it is. The latest AMD employee that Apple successfully ported on to its payroll is a graphics and system-on-a-chip expert. This is safely one area that Apple is trying to focus a lot these days.
Certainly one chip expert who has spent more than a decade in various system architecture designations in AMD makes sense for further thing their own chip architecture and technology. A little digging into John Bruno’s LinkedIn profile reveals that he held a position in Apple where he had “completed hardware specification for the APU (CPU + GPU SoC) including cost, target die size, power budget and low-power strategies” – whatever that is supposed to mean. But that is one good reason why Apple considered him as a hot target for poaching.
Apple is trying to further expand their A5 series chips with the A5X SoC (system-on-a-chip) which will have an integrated quad-core graphics engine. Incidentally, this is the same chip that one can find powering the latest iPad. While the AMD technologies in GPU design have been long used in MacBooks and Macs, there is no doubt an easy migration for people like John Bruno or Raja Koduri and Bob Drebin, who are also former AMD CTOs. This however in no way should be taken as suggestive of an impending use of AMD’s chip technology in Apple.
Apple is certainly trying its best to ensure that its own chip technology and the related developments that will ensure it stay ahead in the market for tablets and smartphones are always on track. Innovation for Apple is certainly one of the keys to succeed in this fiercely competitive market, now that we have Google’s Nexus 7, Samsung’s 10” tablet and others breathing fire down on Apple.