Tech

Apple loses its SoC design leader with Jeff Wilcox’s return to Intel

Jeff Wilcox has been the director of Mac systems architectures at Apple in recent years. The leader of the division that designed the ARM SoCs from Cupertino and the Apple Silicon program that is still underway to replace Intel processors in Macs.

After eight years working for Apple, Jeff Wilcox returns to Intel. And we talk back because before working at Apple he did it at Intel. The engineer has confirmed it on the LinkedIn network:

«After eight incredible years, I have decided to leave Apple and look for another opportunity. It’s been an incredible journey and I couldn’t be more proud of everything we accomplished during my time there, culminating in Apple Silicon’s transition to the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max SOCs and systems. I will deeply miss all my colleagues and friends at Apple«.

Jeff Wilcox and Apple silicon

Apple surprised the industry with the M1, the first SoC to transition from Intel’s x86 architecture to ARM under the silicon project. A movement that had been talked about for a decade, almost since the launch of the original iPhone, but that arrived in 2020 with an unexpected level of performance and effectiveness.

And it is that the results of its CPU both in simple core and in multiple threads were the highest that had been seen in client computers under an ARM architecture and its GPU reached a good level considering that it was an integrated graphics. Although it is difficult to compare performance levels between different architectures, the general opinion is that Apple had done a good job to start with.

And it has continued from there with the new M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs, two silicones that maintain the ARM architecture at the CPU level and that, of course, raise the bar compared to the previous generation in every way. Apple is not going to stop until it completes all its computers and the M1 Max Duo and Max Quadro have already appeared behind the scenes to power the most powerful machines of the Cupertino firm, the Mac Pro workstations and the AIO iMac Pro.

Jeff Wilcox has been responsible for the team that has made it possible. We do not know the consequences in Apple because we assume that the silicon program was already designed before its departure. What we can predict is that his return to Intel will mean a breakthrough in the development of the chip giant’s SoCs:

«I am pleased to share that I have started a new position as CTO of the SoC Architecture Design Engineering Group at Intel. I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the amazing teams at Intel again to help create groundbreaking SOCs. Great things are yet to come!»

Chimes signing … It is clear that it is Intel’s counterattack against Apple, but we will have to wait to see what Jeff Wilcox can contribute to a chip design that under maximum integration it seems it will be imposed in the future. Recall that Intel has already opted for a hybrid architecture design for the new Alder Lake, but in x86. AMD is believed to be designing these types of chips as well.

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