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WSJ: Apple moving into chip design


Papermaster. Drebin. Koduri. A law firm specializing in intellectual property? The backcourt starters for the Toronto Raptors? Three key graphics-chip experts now all on the Apple payroll? If you had option C on your answer card, congratulations: now you get to join the WSJ and Forbes in reading the tea leaves about what Apple's dream team of silicon-savvy engineering talent will be building in the secure labs deep in the dwarven mines under 1 Infinite Loop.

Apple's body-snatching spree, particularly focused on veterans of the GPU team at processor maker AMD, aligns with the purchase of PA Semi last year in expanding the company's hardware design capabilities. While there's no Apple product yet on the market featuring chips designed by the new squadron, the expectation is that future iPhones and mobile devices will benefit from Apple-only silicon; graphics capabilities built into these new and exclusive chips would be, presumably, unmatchable by competitors in the mobile space.

The WSJ notes that over 100 LinkedIn profiles for chip engineers who recently worked at Samsung, Intel or other hardware companies now indicate they are sporting Apple employee badges (yay for transparency!). With the current economic climate triggering layoffs and shrinkage at many high-tech enterprises, Apple's combination of marketplace strength and Scrooge McDuck-esque giant pile of cash is allowing it to build a brain trust in hardware that rivals its legendary software expertise.

What kind of super iPhone or magic Mac do you think will be built around these chips and this team?

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