Head of iPhone and iPad chip design may have left Apple

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A tweaked image of the A11 suggests what the improved Apple 12 princessor could look like.
Gerard Williams III‘s fingerprints can be found on all Apple’s A-series processors.
Photo: IFIXIT

Someone who helped make the iPad and iPhone as powerful as they are has reportedly departed Apple. Gerard Williams III led the team that created every A-series processor since the A7, but no more.

Williams left Apple last month, according to Cnet. However, his LinkedIn profile still indicates he works for the company.

Critical work behind the scenes

For 12 years, Gerard Williams was employed by ARM, the company that designs the processors Apple bases its chip on.

He made the jump to Apple in 2010. He held the title Senior Director in Platform Architecture, and was chief architect for all its CPU and SOC development.

As Williams himself points out, he “lead the Cyclone, Typhoon, Twister, Hurricane, Monsoon, and Vortex architecture work.” That’s the Apple A7, A8, A9, A10, A11 and A12.

The A7 — which debuted in the iPhone 5S in 2013 — was the first 64-bit processor in this series, and the first 64-bit chip t be used in any shipping phone or tablet. It was later at the heart of the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3.

His most recent endeavor, the A12X, gives the 2018 iPad Pro better performance than the Intel Core processors in the 13-inch MacBook Pro from last summer.

New blood for a new endeavor?

But Williams apparently won’t be overseeing the Apple’s next big step; there are persistent rumors that company will phase out Intel chips in its macOS computers in favor of ones Apple designed itself. This reportedly could start as soon as 2020. If this is true, someone else wil be spearheading the change.

There’s no word yet on a successor.