The Wall Street Journal today took a look at Apple’s in-house Silicon plans. Two new recent hires, Raja Koduri and Bob Drebin were both high ranking defectors from struggling AMD/ATI. Both were also focused in the graphics arenas. But there are many, many more.
The WSJ sites Linkedin Job profiles and Apple Jobs and Indeed job searches as evidence of Apple’s ramping up of talent in the chip making game. Some have partial descriptions like "testing the functional correctness of Apple developed silicon."
This goes against an industry trend of outsourcing more and more components and relying on partners more and more. Currently Apple outsources its chip supply but has special relationships with its CPU vendors.
Most cellphones are based on chip designs licensed by ARM Holdings PLC to others. For the iPhone, Samsung Electronics Co. supplies an ARM-based microprocessor with custom features developed by Apple, analysts say.
But don’t get your hopes up for 2009. They say that Apple silicon is at least a year out, if not more. We think we know which chip Apple will use next if it continues with Samsung.
There is a great irony to this whole story. It puts forward that Apple’s main reason for building in house silicon is that it wants to control the leaks of information, yet it quotes "people familiar with the plans, matter, etc" no less than eight times!