Intel Poaches Key Apple Silicon Engineer from Apple

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 7 Jan 2022

This week, Apple’s former Director of Mac System Architecture Jeff Wilcox revealed that he had parted ways with Apple to take on a new role at Intel. A quick visit to his LinkedIn profile reveals Wilcox played a crucial role in Apple’s transition from Intel to Apple Silicon.

Wilcox was a part of the team responsible for developing Apple’s M1 chip. His profile states that he “led the transition” for Macs to Apple Silicon. Before that, he was tasked with developing the chip and system architecture for Intel-based Macs’ T2 coprocessor.

In December, Wilcox announced that he would be leaving Apple. He remarked that he was proud of his accomplishments at the company during his eight-year stint.

“After an amazing eight years, I have decided to leave Apple and pursue another opportunity. It has been an incredible ride, and I could not be prouder of all we accomplished during my time there, culminating in the Apple Silicon transition with the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max SOCs and systems. I will dearly miss all of my Apple colleagues and friends, but I am looking forward to the next journey, which will start at the first of the year.”

Wilcox is now Intel’s Design Engineering Group CTO. He will be responsible for processor architectures for SoCs across all Intel client segments in this role. Interestingly, Wilcox was an Intel staffer for 12 years before joining Apple. At the time, he was a principal engineer for PC chipsets. His prior work experience includes tenures at Magnum Semiconductor and NVIDIA.

It remains to be seen if Wilcox’s departure would impact Apple’s development of proprietary chips. Apple has not completely transitioned to using its proprietary silicon, but it is expected to complete the transition in 2022. The iPhone maker’s silicon development team is headed by Johny Srouji, the VP of Hardware Technologies.

Intel announced its new Core i9 laptop processor that is claimed to be faster than the Apple M1 Max chip seen powering the latest-generation MacBook Pro models. In October, the company CEO Pat Gelsinger said he hopes to launch “a better chip” than Apple. Referring to Intel’s more “vibrant” ecosystem, he said, “I’m going to fight hard to win Tim’s business in this area.”

[Via Tom’s Hardware]