Microsoft hires former Apple chip designer

The tech company is looking to develop its own chips for its Azure servers.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer

Microsoft confirmed a new hire on Wednesday who will play a key role in the company's Arm processor designs.

According to Bloomberg, Mike Filippo will work within Microsoft's cloud computing service, Azure, to produce custom processors. Filippo will bring plenty of chip design experience to this new role since he previously worked at Apple, Intel Corp, and Arm Ltd.  

Over the past decade, Filippo has led the development of various Arm chips and was initially brought onto Apple's team to work on its M1 chip in 2020.

The new hire suggests that Microsoft is prioritizing its plans to make its own chips to power Azure, which was initially announced two years ago. Microsoft previously said that it was exploring using a unique chip to power some of its Surface PCs.

Microsoft's move to create its own Arm chips followed Apple's decision to produce its own Arm-based M1 processor, which was officially released in fall 2020.

In November, Microsoft announced its Pluton security processor that touts chip-to-cloud security technology. The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 and ThinkPad Z16—set to release in May—will be the first laptops with the Pluton chip built-in.

The move for tech companies like Microsoft and Apple to produce their own chips is smart since virtually all industries are still being affected by the global chip shortage that began at the pandemic.

According to Globaldata's recent report, the chip shortage we have seen in the last two years will continue to be an issue in 2022, mainly because of new COVID-19 variants. However, analysts have said that they expect the chip shortage to be solved once Western governments place a larger investment to manufacture chips domestically. 

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