Intel Poaches Head Apple Silicon Architect Who Led Transition To Arm And M1 Chips

jeff wilcox
Intel has reacquired the services of Jeff Wilcox, who spearheaded the transition to Arm and M1 chips for Apple. Wilcox will oversee architecture for all Intel system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, according an update on his LinkedIn profile.

Apple announced the first Macs with its own home-grown processor technology, the M1 chip, about a year ago. Since then, the chip has met rave reviews for its speed and efficiency. The person largely behind that architecture, Jeff Wilcox, announced his departure from Apple recently. The news would not have been so bad, if not for the fact Wilcox also announced his return to Apple rival, Intel.

Wilcox's resume is one to be admired. He began his career in 1994 with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics as a Design Engineer. In 1997, he became Principal Component Architect for Intel Corp. Ten years later he transitioned to being Principal Architect for NVIDIA, only to return to Intel as Principal Engineer in 2010. A little over 3 years later he made the move to Apple as Director, Mac Systems Architecture. And now, he has ventured back to Intel once more as Intel Fellow, Design Engineering Group CTO, Client SoC Architecture.

In a post on his Linkedin account, Wilcox stated, "After an amazing eight years I have decided to leave Apple and pursue another opportunity." He continued, "It has been an incredible ride and I could not be prouder of all we accomplished during my time there, culminating in the Apple Silicon transition with the M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs and systems."

apple M1
It is hard to imagine Apple wanted Wilcox to depart from its company. However, it is unknown if Apple offered Wilcox any incentives to stay. Apple has recently been known to offer some of its engineers up to $180K bonuses to stick around rather than defect to Meta. With Intel seemingly struggling to keep up with Apple in producing efficient chips, this move makes sense for Intel moving forward.

In a separate post on his Linkedin account, Wilcox spoke to his joining Intel. He said, "I'm pleased to share that I have started a new position as Intel Fellow, Design Engineering Group CTO, Client SoC Architecture at Intel Corporation. I could not be more thrilled to be back working with the amazing teams there to help create groundbreaking SoC's. Great things are ahead!"

Wilcox made his return to Intel sometime in the early days of this month. There has been no word from Apple who will replace Wilcox as Director, Mac Systems Architecture.

As both Intel and Apple continue to try and advance the power and efficiency of in-house SoCs, Intel seems to have taken a slight advantage back with its reacquiring of Wilcox. What Wilcox will bring to future SoCs for Intel is yet to be seen, but there is no doubt the knowledge and experience he has with ARM and Apple's M1 will play a part of that. But Apple no doubt has a very capable team that Wilcox leaves behind to continue making advancements of its own. The winners will certainly be the consumers as these two tech giants battle it out.