Tech

Apple hires key ARM engineer in race to ditch Intel

Apple has poached a top engineer from ARM as it seeks to put custom processors inside Macs in the coming years. As spotted by Bloomberg, Apple has hired Mike Filippo, the lead architect on a number of ARM CPU designs, including the Cortex-A76, which was recently featured inside Qualcomms top-of-the-line Snapdragon 855 chip.

Bloomberg speculates that Filippo could be filling a key spot at Apple that was left empty after Gerard Williams III, the head architect for Apples processors, departed the company earlier this year. Apple hasnt commented on the hire or what Filippo will be doing, but ARM confirmed to Bloomberg that he left. A LinkedIn account for Filippo lists him as working at Apple as an “architect” since May. Prior to that, he held similar roles at Intel and AMD:

When the Cortex-A76 was announced last year, Filippo told CNETthat he thought the chip design would “do well against Apple.” Apple has for years made smartphone and tablet processors that far outperform chips from rivals, designing its own cores instead of licensing them from ARM, and thats remained true even with ARMs latest designs.

ARM and Apple arent entirely in competition, though. While Apple doesnt explicitly use ARMs processor designs — as other companies, like Qualcomm, do — it does rely on ARMs instruction set when designing processors of its own. Bringing in someone whos deeply familiar with creating chip designs based on ARMs tech is a natural step as Apple tries to further what its own chips can do.

With Apples chips already attaining a commanding lead in smartphones and tablet