Apple Wins Chip Designer Mergard from Samsung

Portrait of Jim Mergard
Apple Chip Exec, Jim Mergard

Apple has hired Jim Mergard, a chip designer who has worked for AMD and most recently Samsung.  Of course Samsung and Apple have a convoluted relationship, with Apple using Samsung as a supplier at the same time each company is suing the other for patent infringement. That makes any movement of high-level talent between the two is notable.

Mr. Mergard spent 16 years with Advanced Micro Devices where he played a leading role in the development of AMD's Brazos chip aimed at low-end portable computers, according to The Wall Street Journal. CNET reported that he was a vice president and chief engineer when he left in June 2011 and joined Samsung's Austin, Texas-based team as its chief system architect.

Apple has begun using its own chip designs as one way to differentiate its devices. Mergard's expertise points to server system and systems on a chip (SoCs) designs. SoCs combine several types of circuitry on one chip and could potentially be used in everything from iPhones to iMacs.

It is unknown whether Mergard will remain in Austin or work from the company's Cupertino headquarters. Apple has had a chip design presence in Austin since purchasing the startup Intrinsity in 2010.