Apple Picks Up Ex TI Employees for Israeli Chip Design

Apple Processor Crystal BallApple has been adding to its head count in Israel, picking up engineers laid off by Texas Instruments (TI) in that country. The Next Web reported that Apple has been hiring in order to build up its research and development centers in the cities of Hertezliya and Haifa.

All told, Apple has picked up "dozens" of employees laid off by TI as that company reduces its work force around the globe. TI is laying off 1,700 employees, including some 250 in Israel itself.

Apple maintains chip design operations in Israel, which has a well-established technology sector. While it's not known specifically what each of its chip design offices are working on, Apple designs ARM-based processors for its iPhone and iPad, and has been rumored to be considering a move to ARM for its Macs some time in the future.

On Monday, Doug Freedman of RBC Capital added a new rumor to the mix, saying that Apple would move its chip making to Intel when it dumps Samsung. Under this scenario, Intel would make Apple AX processors for the iPhone, while Apple would move the iPad to Intel's x86 processors.

Back to Israel, the employees laid off by TI worked on OMAP and radio (including both WiFi and Bluetooth) chips. TI is not only winding out of the OMAP business, the company reportedly wants to move all of its own chip design operations back to the U.S.

OMAP stands for Open Multimedia Applications Platforms, but it's really a system-on-a-chip platform based on ARM, the kind of chip useful for, say, smartphones and tablets. TI announced in September that it would wind down its OMAP operations.