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Apple Snags 12 Former AMD Engineers for Orlando GPU Team

MacRumors reports that Apple has hired at least 12 former graphics engineers for its "Orlando GPU team", indicating that Apple is accelerating research and development of custom SoCs and GPU cores.

AMD laid off a number of employees last year as part of a corporate reorganization, and then fired more in January. According to a large number of LinkedIn profiles, the majority of Apple's hires for an Orlando team occurred in January, and includes a graphics architect (opens in new tab), a hardware engineer (opens in new tab) and others. These former AMD workers likely came from the chip maker's Orlando office.

MacRumors also discovered that Apple has posted new job listings for Site Managers (opens in new tab) to head GPU teams in both Cupertino and Orlando. These are in addition to job listings posted in April for chip engineers to be working in Apple's Orlando Design Center.

"Manager will be responsible for leading the Orlando GPU team to deliver high quality IP to specification and on schedule," reads the Site Manager job summary. Qualifications include 10+ years proven experience leading high performance GFX (or equivalent complexity) IP development teams, and 5+ years proven experience building/hiring medium/large (30+) complex ASIC IP development teams.

Apple, which is a licensee for ARM and Imagination Technology, has been designing its own SoCs since 2010 with the launch of the A4 chip inside the original iPad (first-gen). The company introduced its first in-house CPU core last year with the A6 chip which is used in the iPhone 5. This latest development points to Apple actually developing its own GPU core as well.

  • dns7950
    Great, now Apple can start using technology very similar to what is already being used by AMD, then claim they invented it and sue them.
  • cscott_it
    I can see why Apple did this. They had great success with their last AMD hires (managed to snag the co-author of the AMD x64 chips until the last 6 months). Either way, I suppose this means they'll be moving away from the Power SGX in time.
    I'm interested to see what the final product will look like when it is finally released and see the architecture differences are and what sort of theoretical advantages it may bring to the table.
  • The_Trutherizer
    Worst case scenario tbh. Good engineers who used to work for a company with a modicum of constraint when it comes to making everything proprietary now working for a company as closed as a secret society. I hope AMD jumps on every single patent infringement.
  • shafe88
    So does this mean Apple will start banning ATi graphics cards like Galaxy Phones.
  • rohitbaran
    I want AMD to sue the hell out of crapple whenever they find the chance.
  • ddpruitt
    Maybe these engineers were laid off for a reason. I can't see AMD getting rid of the people who know what they're doing. I think will see some mediocre GPU hardware from Apple in the next few years.
  • iam2thecrowe
    apple took the rejects from AMD..........there would be a good reason
    AMD rejected them...........
  • Usersname
    ddpruitt said "Maybe these engineers were laid off for a reason. I can't see AMD getting rid of the people who know what they're doing."
    What, like Apple did with Steve Jobs? Odds on Apple dropping billions into game development soon as they intend to dominate the living room.