Feeds

Apple bags chippery guru from rival Samsung

Move unlikely to deepen Korean love for Cupertino

Build a business case: developing custom apps

There's already no love lost between Seoul and Cupertino, but that rivalry has surely racheted up another notch now that Apple has reportedly bagged one of the Korean electronics giant's top chip designers.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Apple has hired Jim Mergard, who joined Samsung last June as one of a flurry of hires that The Reg suggested was part of that company's possible move into ARM-based server chips.

Mergard's 16-month stay at Samsung as chief system architect was a brief one, especially when compared to his previous position of 16 years at AMD working on mainstream processor architectures.

To say that the relationship between Samsung and Apple is convoluted is a gross understatement. Although they may be spirited rivals in the smartphone market, their competition in the patent wars is nigh-on vicious, with both companies lashing lawsuits, injunctions, and appeals at one another – including the particularly incendiary suit in which Apple was awarded over $1bn by a California jury, which Samsung is seeking to have overturned, citing jury misconduct.

But that rivalry and those legal battles aren't what make the Korean and Cupertinian relationship most interesting; that would be the fact that Apple currently relies upon Samsung to manufacture the A5 and A6 chips in its various iDevices.

One can only assume that relationship is one that Apple would dearly like to sever. The idea of writing hefty checks to fill the coffers of its otherwise adversary must rankle Cook & Co.

For some time, now – at least since Apple's April 2008 acquisition of PA Semi, an ARM-centric design house – Apple has been building up its chip-designer team. The addition of Mergard to that team strengthens Apple's hand should they choose to move their manufacturing to, say, GlobalFoundries or TSMC, but it also has the dual affect of dealing a blow to Samsung.

After all, top chip designers are not something you can merely order up from Manpower or Kelly Services – or even by posting engineering openings on Jobs at Apple.

Luring and retaining top-flight engineering talent takes finesse – and, most assuredly, mountains of moola. We know Apple has plenty of the latter, and with the landing of Mergard it's arguable that they're not too shabby with the former, as well. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.