Apple poaches top Samsung and Amazon executives for Siri, chip development

Macworld Australia Staff
16 October, 2012
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Apple has hired two experienced staff members from rivals Samsung and Amazon to bolster both Siri – its voice-recognition software system – and its processor chip design department.

Former Samsung Vice-President and Chief Engineer Jim Mergard has joined Apple’s chip design department, The Wall Street Journal reports, adding fuel to the belief Apple is distancing itself from the South Korean company – which manufactures the majority of Apple’s chips – amid ongoing litigation between the two.

“Chip design seems to be increasingly important to both companies,” WSJ said. “Samsung, while better known for memory technology, has vowed to become a more formidable contender in developing microprocessors and related products. Apple also has been staffing up for several years with chip designers to help differentiate its mobile devices.”

Mergard, a former chip designer at AMD, was involved with the design of Apple’s A-series mobile processor chips that are integrated into the company’s iOS devices.

Siri is also set to receive a boost, with AllThingsD reporting that William Stasior – a former Amazon executive and head of Amazon’s A9 search unit – has moved to Apple to run the voice-recognition software’s development.

The report believes that Stasior, who co-founded search engine AltaVista and holds a PhD from MIT, could also strengthen ”Apple’s search and search advertising technology in the wake of its increasing competition with Google”.

Apple acquired Siri in 2010, and has since integrated the feature into its latest iPad, iPhone and iPod touch ranges.


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