back to article Apple custom chip guru jumps ship to rejoin Intel

Apple’s top silicon lead Jeff Wilcox, who led the iGiant's push to develop homegrown chips, has left his role to start a new job at Intel. Wilcox announced he had returned to his old employer in a LinkedIn post, this week. "I’m pleased to share that I have started a new position as Intel Fellow, Design Engineering Group CTO, …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Ian 55

      Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

      All I'll say is that I'd like his pay package.

    2. UCAP Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

      Either I'm paranoid as hell or I'm not paranoid enough

      Paranoid people only thing they are out to get you, I know they are after me.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

      I'm not seeing it that way, regardless of how cynical I can be in today's world.

      I would hope that he is leaving Apple due to accomplishing goals, with a future that does not seem to offer the same level of professional challenges.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

        And let's face it, turning around Intel is one hell of a professional challenge.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

          A walk in the park - if he wants a real challenge, how about IBM?

      2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: My cynical side thinks this is no accident.

        That is how I see it.

        He demonstrated what he probably was not allowed to do at Intel..

    4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Nice One. ..... but it is not Cricket, Old Bean, is it?

      So Wilcox transitions back to Intel with reams of Arm-based Proprietary Intellectual Property to share with Apple competitors/opponents?

      Is that not akin to Industrial Espionage/Intellectual Property Theft?

      We appear to be of a similarly suspicious and uncharitable frame of mind on this matter, ShadowSystems.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Nice One. ..... but it is not Cricket, Old Bean, is it?

        It's called building a career.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Nice One. ..... but it is not Cricket, Old Bean, is it?

          ... and non-compete agreements are explicitly unenforceable in California, for the general public-policy reason that people shouldn't be able to bargain away their ability to engage in a lawful profession.

          On the other hand, he'll be under a pile of NDAs and wouldn't have risen anywhere close to as far as he already has if he'd been the sort of person who obviously doesn't honour them.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice One. ..... but it is not Cricket, Old Bean, is it?

        > So Wilcox transitions back to Intel with reams of Arm-based Proprietary Intellectual Property to share with Apple competitors/opponents?

        I wonder how much information he took with him when he joined Apple. I mean what with him having previously sent many years working for the worlds largest designed of CPUs & their supporting chips and then moving to a company that was keen to learn how to do this?

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Nice One. ..... but it is not Cricket, Old Bean, is it?

        So Wilcox transitions back to Intel with reams of Arm-based Proprietary Intellectual Property to share with Apple competitors/opponents?

        Is that not akin to Industrial Espionage/Intellectual Property Theft?

        Skills and experience are the property of nobody except the person that earned them.

  2. Chris Gray 1

    ARM, RISC-V

    "Client SOC Architecture". I wonder what his NDAs are like? Could he be targetted at doing something at Intel that is quite similar to what he did at Apple? I doubt he would be terribly interested in diving into X86-64 stuff (no-one wants to do that!), unless it is at an architecture-independent level. Intel have announced they will be doing SOC's based on ARM and RISC-V, so those, or general stuff, is my guess. (See "Integrated Device Manufacturing", IDM 2.0)

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: ARM, RISC-V

      Non competes aren't enforceable in California, so while he can't reveal/use Apple's secrets, he can work in exactly the same niche he was at Apple without problems.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: ARM, RISC-V and Duff Information Misleading Intelligence

        Non competes aren't enforceable in California, so while he can't reveal/use Apple's secrets, he can work in exactly the same niche he was at Apple without problems. .... DS999

        Oh, I wouldn’t like to be relying on that information in a court of law if now working for Intel in exactly the same niche he was at Apple without problems. It is not as if the one is not into the designing of clones and drones of the other to do exactly the same things only better and faster and at speeds faster than light to realise an early advantage and deliver an overwhelming lead.

        It’s the true nature of such intelligently designed great games, is it not?

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: ARM, RISC-V and Duff Information Misleading Intelligence

          Oh, I wouldn’t like to be relying on that information in a court of law if now working for Intel in exactly the same niche he was at Apple without problems

          Indeed - we may have Oracle v Google again, this time with Apple with an even bigger pile of cash to keep the lawyers fed in the manner they are accustomed to.

          Just to be on the safe side, if I were Intel, best not design any ICs with Rounded Corners

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: ARM, RISC-V

      Intel still hold an ARM licence, despite the catastrophic strategy error in flogging StrongARM/XScale to Marvell for a pittance 15 years in favour of i86/X64 mobile.

      1. Tilda Rice

        Re: ARM, RISC-V

        It is unbelievable isn't it.

        It was obvious that smart things, would be a thing even in the mid 90s.

        Internet coming, IP everywhere. Small, power sipping chips anyone?

        I wonder if Intel thought they could shrink/optimize down to ARM levels?

        Hubris, arrogance? Blindness?

  3. SuperGeek

    What they say about grass...

    It wasn't greener on the fruity side?

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: What they say about grass...

      Would that not be the orchard ?

  4. Omnipresent

    how long?

    until apple makes you buy all intel computers again? Just as an over/under bet?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: how long?

      Or RISC-V. Anything that makes what everyone has obsolete. You can't have people being too satisfied with their current shiny.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: how long?

      68000: 1984–1994, 10 years;

      PowerPC: 1994–2006, 12 years;

      Intel: 2006–2020, 14 years.

      So by the power of numerology, I guess: 2036.

    3. mevets Bronze badge

      Re: how long?

      Not before apple can get royalty free rights to make x86 soc's.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Justthefacts Bronze badge

    Just good technical strategy……

    For years, Intel insisted that the only way to make a performant system was to divide on the CPU / DIMM SDRAM boundary. To be fair, partly because it’s enterprise customers pushed them.

    But first the mobile SoC proved that soldered in memory achieved better price perfomance, despite howls of protest.

    Now the M1 memory architecture shows that you wipe the floor with the old-school.

    Intel now want to run a SoC-style project, as an experiment - as they have suddenly realised they will be out of the consumer PC and laptop market entirely within 3 years unless they do. Enterprise customers can do what they like.

    And this guy is the person who will architect it for them, because there is too much internal inertia and passive aggressive sabotage to turn the ship otherwise.

    He really doesn’t need to bring across any secrets. He just needs to put his foot down, and say “see those SoCs published over there? Drop an x86 into that, add HBM, and you’ll be all good.”

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Can't upgrade at all though

      Gamers, those using computers for engineering work (CAD, software dev, ML etc) and actual proper servers need far more memory than beancounters, browers and general admin. They also need accelerator cards (usually GPU, but not always)

      That's the reason for the split, it lets PC builders and end users fit as much RAM and as powerful an accelerator card as they want.

      Apple just decided that they don't care about those markets - on macOS, gaming is dead, CAD is nearly dead, and there haven't been any servers for a decade. The Apple Arm switch has probably killed CAD on macOS entirely as it's now impossible to use accelerator cards.

      And that's fine. Macs don't make any money for Apple, they could (and probably will) cease making them at all and make even more profit.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think we'll need CPUs for much longer

    Because in a few months literally everything will be on the cloud.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: I don't think we'll need CPUs for much longer

      For consumers perhaps. But not for people who are actually intending to be productive with computers.

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