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Apple has added an important key member in their employment roster with the appointment of former AMD chip designer Jim Mergard. The employment of such a key figure who has held extremely prominent roles in his field with some of the industry’s leading companies significantly strengthens Apple’s position as they embark on designing and building their own chips internally.

Mergard has extensive experience in his profession, amassing over sixteen years experience working with Advanced Micro Devices and has previously held roles within AMD at a senior level as vice president as well as being chief engineer for the company and involved in the day-to-operations at all levels. The name may not be well-known to all, but Mergard is extremely well known for his work with AMD in a project that culminated in the production of a processor that was used in cost-effective mobile computing devices.

In addition to the work experience that was amassed during his time with the Sunnyvale-based semiconductor company, Mergard has also enjoyed a very brief spell working for the world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung. Individuals with well-served expertise like this are always going to be in high demand, but moving from Samsung to Apple is likely to raise a few eyebrows at a time when tensions are already strayed between the two companies thanks to various legal disputes that remain ongoing.

A former colleague of Mergard’s who now operates within a research company has stated that Jim Mergard has extensive experience and abilities relating to PC chip and SoC design, with the latter being of great benefit to Apple as it is the hardware that is used within their iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. At this moment in time the intricacies of the employment are unknown but it’s possible that the new hire will continue to work from his current base in Austin, Texas.

Apple Store

We don’t yet know what Apple has in mind for Mergard, or what he will be immediately working on, but with his peers suggesting that he is more than capable of pulling together his abilities to design a PC processor as well as a SoC; it looks like the world’s most valuable company is investing in hiring the best and the brightest to do their bidding.

(via WallStreetJournal)

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