There’s a mighty tug-of-war between the world’s biggest chip makers, and it’s not just customers. Top employees will always be the difference makers, and Intel and Apple are constantly rolling it out to the best engineering minds. This time Jeff Wilcox, Director of Mac Systems Architecture, is going back to Intel to join the Fellow and Design Engineering Group as Chief Technical Officer.
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This is set to be a major blow to its Cupertino-based competitor, as Wilcox “leads the transition to Apple silicon for all Macs, starting with the M1 chip”, as his LinkedIn profile describes (via From) Tom’s Hardware,
Apple is determined to get rid of Intel-based Mac systems in favor of its own in-house designed chips, which are made from the ARM architecture, and Wilcox had a big role in making that strategy work. Of course, it was successful, and Apple has since improved the M1 with the M1 Max and M1 Pro.
Now Wilcox will play a key role at Intel, where he has previously worked, and will lead efforts on all architectures destined for Intel’s client SoCs. That too many chips. Mobile processors, sure, but it will also work in Intel’s new Foundry Services, which may one day take a more mix-and-match approach to SoCs with customers. Whichever way you cut it, it’s a big deal as Intel integrates large onboard graphics, connectivity, and systems into a single package, and it’s only going to become more important as the decade progresses.
Nerdshala reports That Apple is trying to keep its engineers with a big bonus, although it is not known whether the company tried to retain Wilcox in this way.
Apple’s decision to leave Intel behind ruffled a lot of feathers at the x86 chipmaker, including CEO Pat Gelsinger, who said in an opening letter to employees that “we have to deliver a better product than anything else in the PC ecosystem that could potentially work.” That’s a lifestyle company in Cupertino. Builds.” Now he’s fighting.
It’s being seen as a big win for Intel, especially with Gelsinger’s plan to put the company back on top, and a bit of a gut-punch for Apple. It certainly seems more substantial than those cringey Apple commercials that Intel has been running lately, anyway.