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Jim Mergard made his name during a 16-year stint with AMD

It's been a wild ride for Jim Mergard, a respect name in the chipmaking and processor design industry.  Mr. Mergard enjoyed a successful 16-year stint with Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD), before leaving the chipmaker in late 2011.  According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Mergard's specialty was low power systems-on-a-chip (SoCs).  He reportedly was the "brains" behind development of AMD's hot-selling "accelerated processing units", guiding them through the prototype phase.

He joined up with Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) earlier this year during a recruiting push at Samsung's new chip design and production facilities in Texas.  However, that stint proved short-lived as multiple sources report that he has jumped to the other team -- Samsung's archrival Apple, Inc. (AAPL).

Speculation is running wild regarding whether Mr. Mergard's expertise will be used simply to produce better SoCs for i-devices, or for a more novel project, such as an in-house computer central processing unit.  

For years Apple heavily used and contributed to the PowerPC architecture.  But some suspect it may have second thoughts about switching to Intel Corp. (INTC) chips.  After all, Apple prefers to keep as much of its ecosystem as it can in-house, leaving the rest to anonymous unnamed suppliers.  Intel's desire for prominent branding represents somewhat of a values conflict for Apple.

Jim Mergard
Jim Mergard has joined up with Apple [Image Source: The Tech Journal].

But only time can tell what possibilities might be looming for the new recruit.

For now it's just one more example of Apple's long track record of aggressively poaching its market rival's best talent.  That poaching has led to numerous complaints over the years, but under the new leadership of Tim Cook Apple shows no signs of stopping the aggressive tactic.

Source: WSJ





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