Apple has been expanding its workforce in Israel over the past couple of weeks, tapping a pool of former Texas Instruments (TI) employees in the country to build up research and development centers in Hertezliya and Haifa, The Next Web has learned.
According to sources close to the situation, Apple has been hiring “dozens” of engineers from Texas Instruments after the company began cutting around 250 jobs from its Ra’anana development center as it looks to lay off around 1,700 employees (about 5 percent of its total workforce) globally.
Many of the engineers working at the development center were focused on the development of TI’s OMAP and radio (including WiFi and Bluetooth) chips, which are used a number of new smartphone and tablet devices.
In September, TI announced it would wind down its operations in OMAP chips and instead focus on embedded platforms, impacting its Israeli workforce. TI is said to be looking to shift its entire R&D center back to the US and shutdown activities in Israel completely.
Update: Texas Instruments has contacted us to state that it is “committed to continuing R&D in Israel.”
With TI winding down operations in Israel, Apple appears to be taking full advantage of the situation.
Apple actually began looking to hire engineers for its new research center in the city of Haifa back in January with the view to open it by the end of February. The company sought hardware engineers in chip development with strong emphasis on electrical circuits, analogue and hardware testing and verification.
Apple’s Israeli semiconductor development center is the company’s first outside of California, where it is headquartered, although it also has some development centers related to software in Austin, Vancouver, France and Germany.
It is likely that the former TI engineers will focus on projects under the leadership of formerly retired SVP Bob Mansfield, who was put in charge of a new Technologies group after Apple announced a major executive reshuffle back in October.
The Technologies group includes Apple’s semiconductor teams, who are responsible for its processors like the new A6X chip in the iPad 4. The company’s new processors feature custom cores designed by Apple’s own chip team and are believed to be the first fully custom CPUs Apple has included in its iPhones.
Apple’s semiconductor groups are already excelling in their field, and the company says has “ambitious plans for the future.”
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