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Apple cranks up chip investment as top designer John Bruno is hired

Apple's investment in chip design has increased with the growth of its mobile device business and now the company has brought in one of the most well-regarded chip designers in the industry, John Bruno of Advanced Micro Devices.

Bruno will work as a system architect at Apple, according to SemiAccurate, which reported the hiring. The application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) designer started his career in 1996 at ATI Technologies, the graphics processor design house that AMD acquired in 2006.

SemiAccurate's Charlie Demerjian reports that Bruno may have been a casualty of AMD's downsizing initiative launched late in 2011 which resulted in a 10 per cent reduction of the company's workforce in the first quarter of this year.

Patrick Moorhead, lead analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy and a former AMD executive, said he had worked closely with Bruno on several programs during their time together at the company.

"He is a very highly skilled architect and Apple is lucky to have him," Moorhead told PCMag.

Bruno's last bit of work for AMD was the development of the company's current-generation APU platform code named Trinity, a second-generation chipset for PCs that combines the chip maker's central processing and graphics processing technologies. Xbit Labs notes that Bruno oversaw the full scope of specifications for that highly regarded processor.

The site described the chip designer as "one of the world's leading experts with extensive experience in bringing complex new architectures and their accompanying platforms to market" with a "proven track record of managing large ASIC engineering teams and cross functional efforts to deliver cutting edge, complex designs with multi-billion dollar revenue streams."

At Apple, Bruno joins such former AMD graphics product group colleagues as Raja Koduri and Bob Drebin, XBit Labs reported.

Apple currently designs the ARM-based A-Series chips that power its iPhone and iPad devices. The company's A4 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) and its successors, the A5 and A5X, are manufactured by Samsung.