Apple has consistently outperformed expectations with its in-house chip designs, and now other companies are increasingly going after the talent which has made this possible.
Apple recently lost Jeff Wilcox to Intel, and now, according to Bloomberg, the company has also lost prominent ARM chip designer Mike Filippo to Microsoft. Prior to working at Apple for 2 years, Flippo worked at ARM for 20, designing multiple high-profile chips, including the Cortex-A57 – Arm‘s first-generation 64-bit CPU.
Microsoft has been working on its own internal chip designs for their Azure cloud services, something which Google and Amazon are already doing.
Flippo is expected to work with Rani Borkar, the Corporate Vice President for Azure Hardware Systems and Infrastructure, on Microsoft’s own solution, with the company reportedly investing in their own capabilities in areas like design, manufacturing and tools.
In 2020 there were rumours that the resulting chips would also show up in ARM-powered Surface products, and given the anaemic progress we have seen from Qualcomm compared to Apple Silicon this can not come soon enough.