Rumors have been swirling for a while now that Apple is planning to move away from Intel processors for its Mac devices and instead design its own CPUs, and now we've heard that the company has hired Mike Filippo, ARM's lead CPU and system architect.
Filippo’s LinkedIn profile states that he joined Apple last month. During his time at ARM, he led the development of the Cortex-A76, Cortex-A72, Cortex-A57 chips.
Filippo has also worked as a lead CPU and system architect at Intel and a chip designer at AMD, so he’s got a huge amount of knowledge and experience when it comes to processors. His hiring could be a real win for Apple’s CPU ambitions.
The fact that Apple has employed such a senior ARM architect could be seen as further proof that it's planning to launch ARM-powered Macs as early as 2020.
Apple’s move makes a lot of sense – if that’s indeed what it's doing. The company has been vocal about how its reliance on Intel hardware hasn’t been ideal. Earlier this year, Apple blamed Intel’s processor shortage for slump in Mac sales.
The fact that Intel’s processors have also been victim to high profile security vulnerabilities may also have cemented Apple’s decision to build its own processor.
Apple already makes its own processors for its iPhone and iPad devices, as well as the T2 security chip in recent Macs, so this move wouldn’t be completely out of the blue.
It also follows news that Microsoft is apparently looking to stop exclusively using Intel chips for its Surface devices, with the company testing prototypes with AMD and ARM processors.
So it’s not been great news for Intel recently. Its former partners looking to use its competitors (or make their own CPUs) is something we warned would happen.