Gerard Williams, who was apple’s chief designer of cTO and on-chip systems, left Apple in February. As the lead architect of Apple’s CPU and SOC development, Williams designed the A7 chip, which was unveiled on the iPhone 5s for the first time as the world’s first 64-bit mobile processor.
Building on the success of the A7, Apple continues to roll out a number of A-Series chips, each with Williams’s core design, from the A7 chip of the iPhone 5S to the A12X bionic chip in the 2018 iPad Pro, all of which his team has done.
By November, the start-up, which had been co-founded by three former semiconductor executives who were in charge of Apple’s iPhone chips, was revealed to the media, and the founder left Apple’s Gerard Williams in February.
The new company, called Nuvia, is specifically designed for data center processors, codenamed Phoenix, to compete with current industry leaders Intel and AMD, according to Reuters. Nuvia said it has raised $53 million from Dell Technology Capital and several Silicon Valley companies, which will help the company expand from 60 employees to about 100 employees by the end of the year.
The story develops here to look like a history of “unemployed employees starting an innovative career”, but things have recently turned around.
Apple is suing Gerard Williams for allegedly violating an earlier employment agreement by leaving the company and starting a chip company,media reported.
In the leaked lawsuit, Apple accused Gerard Williams of concealing the idea that he was ready to leave Apple and start another company, before he officially left the company, allowing him to use Apple’s technology to facilitate his start-up. More importantly, Apple also said Gerard Williams tried to poach other engineers from Apple.
“Unfortunately, Williams didn’t use the technology he developed for Apple, but secretly considered how to monetize them. Williams, who once boasted that he would start a new company through Apple’s technology, believes Apple will have no choice but to buy the company from him. Apple wrote in the lawsuit.
Gerard Williams also responded to Apple’s complaint, saying apple’s allegations had no legal basis because the terms of the employment contract cited by Apple in the case were not binding under the California legal system. In addition, Williams said apple evidence in the case about his text message conversations with another Apple engineer was “illegally collected.”
A hearing in this case will be held on 21 January 2020.