Samsung Chip Designer Jumps Ship, Swims Over to Apple

Apparently taking a billion dollars from Samsung wasn't enough, Apple wants its rival's engineers, too. It's getting one in Jim Mergard, who previously served Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for 16 years as vice president and chief engineer before accepting employment at Samsung. Now he's going to work for Apple.

It's not unusual to see top level executives and engineers switch companies, though the timing of this move is certainly interesting. Samsung and Apple have become bitter rivals of late, with tensions escalating into high profile court cases and patent infringement claims. The two are still battling things out in various courts around the world, and the two have also come to rely on each other, with Samsung fabbing the ARM-based A6 processors used in Apple's recently launched iPhone 5 device.

Apple Store

As for Mergard, The Wall Street Journal says he played a "leading role" in developing AMD's Brazos APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) platform for mobile applications. He's experienced in System-on-Chip (SoC) design, an obvious area of interest for Apple, which is heavily invested in its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, but why stop at handsets?

Patrick Moorhead, a former AMD suit who now works at Moor Insights & Strategy, told WSJ that Mergard's talents could potentially be used to develop a processor for Apple's PC products, too.
Tags:  AMD, Samsung, Apple, Business