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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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50 months ago
[Mod Note]

I have removed several posts that were political in nature. Please keep the discussion on topic and not about politics.
Rating: 7 Votes
50 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
50 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!
Rating: 3 Votes
50 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/
Rating: 3 Votes
50 months ago

Very interesting to hear this. Apple typically doesn't do a lot of engineering outside of the US. They did/do some localisation in Ireland, plus some development & QA, and they designed at least one model of Mac; but most of that was years ago. I know they did QA and possibly localisation in Japan too, also heard rumours of a Russian Apple plant.

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


Just a guess, but I'd bet it has something to do with their ability to keep a secret. You don't hear of a lot of media leaks coming out of Israel for other technology companies that are there...and there are quite a few.
Rating: 2 Votes
50 months ago

I doubt it. You'd get a boycott from half the world.


Half of the world can keep shutting their eyes...
Did you check where all Intel's 'i' processors have been developed?
Almost all major technology companies have R&D facilities in Israel.
Rating: 2 Votes
50 months ago

Half of the world can keep shutting their eyes...
Did you check where all Intel's 'i' processors have been developed?
Almost all major technology companies have R&D facilities in Israel.


I know, but Intel keeps that quiet. Apple is a company people buy from directly, and one that attracts a lot of attention, so what they get up to directly is more likely to be noticed.

Apple also mostly sells products that are "nice to have" rather than an essential so they are an easy company to boycott.
Rating: 2 Votes
50 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?
Rating: 2 Votes
50 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".
Rating: 2 Votes
50 months ago
Israel Hi-Tech

I've been to Israel many times for the hi-tech. The inventor of flash memory, Dov Frohman, is an Intel Technion (MIT of Israel) graduate who invented it when working for the new Intel. He later moved back to Israel and created a design center for Intel around 1974. Intel in Israel now employs about 10,000 give or take and has two design centers and an up-to-date fab (and other fabs).

In addition to Apple which employs 700 at this time, other firms with R&D in Israel include: IBM, Microsoft, Google, Cisco, News Corp., Intel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and many more.

See: https://mappedinisrael.com/
for an overview of the startup scene.

Israel *does* emphasize engineering and science. In addition, there are pressures for defense spending because of being surrounded hostile people.

Israel developed the first drone that shoots missiles (the Pioneer) which the US initially copied and used in Desert Storm. Today Israel is the leading exporter of drone technology.
It more recently developed an anti-missile system called Iron Dome (there are some cool youtube videos of this).
Israeli satellites are used to help fight ISIS in Iraq/Syria.

Because of water shortages in Israel, the Israelis are a leader in the use of desalinization technologies.
http://www.water-technology.net/projects/sorek-desalination-plant/

There is also the book, Startup Nation, which is a bit "over the top" but is informative all the same.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0446541478/

Finally, Cornell has teamed up with Technion to implement the Cornell NYC Tech campus:
http://tech.cornell.edu/nyc-campus/

And there is a $130 million joint agreement for Technion with a Chinese billionaire to have a joint school in China.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/chinese-billionaire-to-fund-joint-china-technion-program/
Rating: 2 Votes

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