In yet another blow, Apple loses its lead A-series chip engineer
What should have been a good week for Apple with the launch of its new subscription services has turned into a PR nightmare. Although the company continues to generate money hand-over-fist, it has been struggling to contain the fallout from the spectacular demise of its AirPower charging mat and an admission that its third attempt at designing a reliable butterfly keyboard mechanism has also been an abject failure. For a company struggling with engineering challenges, news that it has lost the lead engineer of its vaunted A-series chips will come as yet another blow to its image.
CNET reports that Gerard Williams III, the lead designer of Apple’s custom ARM-based chips from the A7 to the A12 Bionic chips has left the company. However, it is not clear why Williams has left the company or where he is headed post-Apple. He will, naturally, be a highly sought-after property with companies like Qualcomm, Google, Samsung and Huawei undoubtedly lining up for his signature, if indeed he hasn’t already signed on with one already.
In leading the design of the A7 chip, the first 64-bit ARM-based chip on the market by some 12-18 months, Williams was very much an integral member of the chip team that continues to dominate the industry in mobile chip performance and efficiency. He was also responsible for helping to design the overall system architecture of Apple’s SoCs at large. It is, however, likely, that Williams’ work will still find its way into Apple products in the immediate future, but it is clear he leaves behind large shoes to fill.