Apple is reportedly poaching experienced chip engineers from Intel in a bid to staff-up a new lab in Oregon - not far from Intel's own Hillsboro chip manufacturing and design plant.
Based between Beaverton in Western Portland and Hillsboro, according to a report in the local newspaper The Oregonian, the facility will lend weight to claims that Apple is planning to shift from Intel to its own in-house developed ARM-based chips for its desktop and laptop computers.
The company is reportedly planning to make the shift from 2020, with the unveiling of the first first Apple/ARM-powered computing hardware next year.
The iPhone maker has already hired close to two-dozen employees to work at the facility, the report claims, including a number previously holding senior research or engineering roles at Intel.
The Oregonian claims to have gathered this information from job postings, social media profiles belonging to the poached employees, and a person familiar with the matter.
Apple is said to have started hiring for the roles in November last year, with its job ads calling for "design verification expertise".
Intel, meanwhile, would itself appear to be in the market for a lot of experienced design engineers.
While Apple has remained hush-hush on the plans, the report fuels speculation that the company plans to ditch Intel chips in its MacBooks from 2020 in favour of its own ARM-based chips.
Bloomberg, which reported on the move last month, claims that Apple's first ARM-powered device will be a revised Mac Pro that Apple could show off as early as next year - probably in its autumn 'reveal'.
A new report this week claims that Apple has pulled-in contract manufacturer Pegatron to make an ARM-powered touchscreen gadget that likely will take the form of a MacBook-come-tablet device.
Said to be in the prototype stages, the incoming device will reportedly feature a SIM card slot, GPS, water resistance - and a Mac-based boot system.
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