Apple's Expanded Presence in Israel Focused on Chip Design

A8Following Apple CEO Tim Cook's visit to Israel this week, the company's increasing interest in the country is said to relate to chip design, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple recently opened new research and development offices in Israel north of Tel Aviv, with the facilities serving as the iPhone maker's second-largest R&D operations outside of the United States.

“Apple’s Israeli acquisitions and its expanding local workforce show that the company is becoming more and more independent on the chip level, where it once had to rely on external suppliers,” said Shlomo Gradman, chairman of the Israeli Semiconductor Club.

Apple may be looking to increase development of chips internally to the costs associated with relying on third-party suppliers, although it still relies heavily on vendors such as Samsung to produce chips for iPhones. Apple has acquired two Israel-based microprocessor chip design firms in Anobit Technologies and PrimeSense in recent years, and also hired several Texas Instrument engineers in Israel after the company announced some 250 job cuts at its Ra'anana offices.

Apple vice president of hardware technologies Johny Srouji is an Israeli Arab that grew up in Haifa and earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in Computer Science from Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology. Srouji joined Apple in 2008 and oversees custom silicon architecture and development covering several devices and technologies. Apple has over 700 other employees working directly for the company in Israel.

“We’ve hired our first individual in Israel in 2011 and we now have over 700 people working in Israel directly for us,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in the meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday. “Israel and Apple have gotten much closer together over the last three years than ever before, and we see that as just the beginning,” he added.

Apple has job listings in Israel for a number of chip-related positions in the fields of silicon and semiconductor design, testing and engineering. The company has also been hiring staff to work at its chip design center in Haifa over the past three years. Google, Facebook, IBM, HP and hundreds of other international companies have also setup R&D centers in Israel, often following acquisitions of local companies.

Tag: Israel

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73 months ago
[Mod Note]

I have removed several posts that were political in nature. Please keep the discussion on topic and not about politics.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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73 months ago

I wonder what Israel is "doing right" that other countries aren't. More small startups? Better education? Government incentives?


Israel has had a lot of chip design talent for a long time. Some may recall that the Intel team that designed the Pentium M, which became the basis for the Core series, was based in Israel. So, I don't know that it's something that recent governments have done or not, but the engineering talent in that country is not new.

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/how-israel-saved-intel/
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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73 months ago

Does this mean that certain components may bare the phrase 'Designed by Apple in Israel'?


I doubt it. You'd get a boycott from half the world.
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73 months ago
After seeing the power of the A8X in the iPad Air 2, I can't wait to see what they pull off with the A9 or A9X for later this year! An iPhone 6S with 2GB RAM and an A9 chip will be a true powerhouse!
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73 months ago

[Mod Note]

I have removed several posts that were political in nature. Please keep the discussion on topic and not about politics.

So basically you are mandating that we can only post positive comments about this article or risk being sensored / banned, as I have been many times simply for expressing alternative viewpoints.

Wait: Isn't the PRSI (or whatever) disclaimer for "political" articles? So now we can't discuss politics because it involves Israel? What hypocrisy! What if we are pro-Israel? Then we get to write what we want?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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73 months ago



I wonder what Israel is "doing right" that other countries aren't. More small startups? Better education? Government incentives?

I think it's really a unique blend that allows for this. Most Israelis serve in the Israeli Defence Forces for 3 years in ages 18-21. The smartest of them are assigned to very lucrative positions in intelligence and software development units (Mamram being one of the most notable). The need for excellent technical advantage is not a nice-to-have, it is mandatory in the region Israel exists in and the many enemies it (sadly) still has.

What you end up with is a lot of talented people at the age of 21 with a lot of technical expertise, who are usually more mature than the average 21 year-old who is in the middle of his college degree. These people tend to build startups and trying to invent the next big thing.

That, plus government incentives and a little "Hutzpa" results in a place that has often been called "The start-up nation".
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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