Apple poaches Intel engineers for new Oregon lab

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Intel eighth-gen
Is Apple working on new Mac chips in Washington County?
Photo: Intel

Apple is quietly poaching researchers and engineers from Intel for a new engineering lab in Washington County, Oregon.

A new report claims Apple is also “raiding” other Oregon firms, further fueling rumors that it could be developing its very own chips for the Mac.

Apple already designs its own chips for iOS, and has done since the launch of the A4 in 2013. Its control over both hardware and software allows it to deliver performance that is unmatched by Android-powered rivals, despite slower clock speeds and fewer processing cores.

It’s unsurprising, then, that the rumor mill indicates Apple is also hard at work designing its own chips for the Mac. Now it looks like that could be happening in Oregon.

Apple sets up new lab in Oregon

“Apple has a secret in Washington County,” reports The Oregonian. “The Silicon Valley company has hired close to two-dozen people in a hardware engineering lab there, raiding Intel and other Oregon tech employers for a variety of roles.”

Apple’s plans were spilled by job postings, social media profiles that confirm former Intel employees are now working at Apple, and an individual familiar with the company’s recruiting efforts. However, it’s not entirely clear how many people are working at the facility, or what they’re working on.

Even the exact location of the lab is unknown, though a source claims it is situated near the border of Washington County between Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Lab could signal new Mac chips

“Apple’s Oregon job postings seeks design verification expertise, a specialty for ensuring a finished product meets the original specifications,” the report adds. Hiring appears to have first started last November, when a number of senior researchers at Intel made the move to Apple.

Apple has long operated another facility in Southeast Portland, Oregon, which is home to its Advanced Computation Group. Its secretive new lab could be entirely unrelated.