The rivalry between Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) just became a whole lot more intense. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has hired former Samsung chip designer Jim Mergard to possibly design new mobile processors for future devices. A former AMD (AMD) vice president and chief engineer, Mergard is said to be “very capable of pulling together internal and external resources to do a PC processor for Apple,” according to another former AMD executive and colleague Patrick Moorhead, who now works at Moor Insights & Strategy.
In recent years, Apple has moved to designing its own microprocessors for its iPhone and iPad to achieve top-notch battery life and an unrivaled performance. Samsung merely produces the chips Apple designs. As the Wall Street Journal notes, it’s unclear what Mergard’s role will be at Apple. If we were to bet, we would say Mergard will likely play a major role in helping Apple design even more efficient chips for its next generation of mobile devices.