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‘End of M1 chip development?’… Apple chip developers one after another

Major Apple developers who have completed their own line of PC chips, such as the M1 chip’s M1 Pro Max, will leave the company as a competitor this year.

Jeff Wilcox, who played a key role in the transition from Intel chips to Apple’s M1 chip, joined Intel earlier this month to serve as CTO of the design engineering group. Mike Filippo, who designed the M1 chip, also moved to Microsoft on the 12th.

Apple completed the M1 chip lineup with the launch of the 14-inch MacBook Pro in the second half of last year. (Photo = apple)

Late last year, Apple paid out additional stock options ranging from tens of millions of won to hundreds of millions of won to prevent the departure of key personnel. However, they chose a different company instead of a stock option that could only be exercised after four years.

■ M1 chip lead development engineer chooses Intel

Intel hired Jeff Wilcox, director of Apple’s Mac systems architecture division on the 6th.

Jeff Wilcox worked at Intel for 12 years, beginning in 2001. From 2010 to 2013, he was responsible for chipset power management for low-power Atom processors, and then worked for Nvidia for a year and a half.

Jeff Wilcock, CTO of the Design Engineering Group at Intel. (Photo = LinkedIn)

Since joining Apple in 2014, he has been in charge of system architecture, signal processing, and power processing for 8 years. In particular, it played a key role in Apple’s M1 chip conversion process, which began in 2020.

Jeff Wilcox returned to Intel after nine years to become Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Design Engineering Group. “I’m excited to be back and working with an amazing team building next-gen SoCs,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

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■ ARM expert Mike Filippo, who was involved in the design of the M1 chip, moved to MS

Also notable is the turnover of the engineer who took the lead in designing Apple’s M1 chip. According to specialized Apple media such as MacRumors and Nine to Five Mac on the 12th (US time), Microsoft hired Mike Filippo, who was involved in the design of the M1 chip.

Mike Filippo worked for Intel from 2004 to 2009, designing Xeon chips for servers. After working for ARM from 2009 to 2019, he designed the underlying architecture used for mobile processors such as Qualcomm Snapdragon, such as the Cortex A76 and Cortex A72, and Samsung Electronics’ Exynos.

In May 2019, he transferred to Apple, which was preparing its own processor-based PC products, and was involved in the design of the M1 processor. After joining Microsoft, Mike Filippo is expected to help develop ARM-based server chips that will run the Azure Cloud.

■ By turning down the stock option and leaving the job, is the M1 token relief pitcher over?

Apple even paid huge stock option bonuses to key engineers to keep them from churning.

According to Bloomberg, Apple has offered stock options worth between $50,000 and $180,000 (about 215 million won) to engineers in specific fields such as chip design, hardware and software.

This stock option can be exercised after 4 years and becomes invalid if the employee resigns or transfers earlier. However, Jeff Wilcox and Mike Filippo declined to exercise their stock options and chose to move on.

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View of the Apple Park. (Photo=GDNet Korea)

The two joined Apple around 2019-2020, coinciding with Apple’s preparations for PCs based on M1 chips.

Apple asked them to play a relief role in solving problems that might arise during the development of the M1 chip, and they signed a contract to work only until the development of the M1 for MacBook Air, iMac, and M1 Pro Max for MacBook Pro is complete. It is presumed to have been