TI recently cut 250 jobs in Ra’anna, Israel and is planning on cutting 1,700 jobs worldwide – almost 5 percent of its workforce. Apple is taking this opportunity to scoop up some of these TI employees, and has been hiring in Israel, namely, in Hertezliya and Haifa, where the company has research and development centers.
Back in September, Texas Instruments announced that it would be moving away from developing OMAP chips and focus on embedding platforms, which affected its Israeli center. TI plans to eliminate all jobs in Israel and bring them back to the United States.
According to TNW, Apple has been looking for engineers in Israel since January. Apple’s Israeli semiconductor R&D center is the first outside of California, though the company does have centers in Austin, Vancouver, France, and Germany where the employees do some R&D.
It’s not certain what the engineers in Apple’s Israeli center will work on, but they’ll most likely be under Apple’s Technologies department, headed by ex-Senior VP Bob Mansfield. After Apple’s recent shakeup in its upper management after its dismissal of SVP Scott Forstall, Bob Mansfield came back out of retirement to take charge of the new Technologies department. Apple’s Technologies department is in charge of the semiconductors it uses in its iOS and Macbook computers, and is the same department that developed the A6X chip used in the iPad 4 and iPhone 5. The A6X chips were custom made by Apple’s chip team and are thought to be the only processors fully developed by Apple.
This is an interesting development after Intel’s recent news that it was preparing to “significantly” upgrade its Ivy Bridge chips, which are used in the Macbook Air and Microsoft Surface Pro. Now, it seems like Apple will be taking its future semiconductors into its own hands. By working on the chips, Apple can cut out the middle man (Intel) and develop chips that better suit its needs. There’s also a possibility that Apple could significantly improve semiconductors, just like it did with the SIM card. Before the iPhone, SIM cards were huge and bulky; but since Apple came into the smartphone market, SIM cards have been getting smaller and smaller. Hopefully, we can see the tech giant bring the same ingenuity to the semiconductor market.