Apple is hiring chip designers

Cupertino, CA – Trendy consumer electronics outfit Apple is recruiting chip design experts in a bid to free itself from the tyranny of having to rely on silicon designed by third parties,reports the Wall Street Journal.

The move would prevent details of future plans leaking to the competition.

According to the report, Apple has been hiring people from across the semiconductor industry to design multifunction chips for cellphones and music players.

Apple has already hired ex-AMD CTOs Raja Koduri and Bob Drebin. The company is also advertising to fill ‘dozens’ of silicon design and testing vacancies.

Although most large technology companies are happy to buy in chip designs from third parties, Apple is not the first to establish an in-house design function. Microsoft has been designing its own silicon for mice and keyboards for years.

The WSJ speculates that Apple is concerned that features on the iPhone and iPod have leaked to the competition though its third-party suppliers. Apple and Samsung – which supplies a customised ARM processor for the iPhone – both refused to comment on the situation.