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Apple Nabs Samsung Chip Guru: Report

This story has been updated with Samsung's response.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - These days, when it comes to the personal technology sector, every electronic part and feature has become virtually a battlefield. Any and every technological advance or design tweak is closely guarded, as evidenced by the the monster lawsuits to defend those features.

That's why it was a big deal when AMD's (AMD) Jim Mergard left for a job at Samsung. Mergard is a highly regarded expert in creating low-power processors such as AMD's Brazos line of chips that he and his team developed for lower-end portable computers.

Mergard, AMD's vice president and chief engineer, left the company, after 16 years, to take that new job. He started working at Samsung's Austin- based chip division in June 2011.

But, according to The Wall Street Journal, that was not to be Mergard's last employment change. Samsung's major rival in business - and in Federal court - has reportedly stolen him away. Apple (AAPL) has hired him to develop its future chip offerings, according to the Journal.

This could turn out to be a big "get" for Apple. Mergard's an expert in developing not only microprocessors for servers and portables, but also in creating SoCs (Systems on a Chip) for increasingly smaller and thinner computing products (such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and portable music devices).

It's not clear whether Mergard will be moving to Cupertino or remaining in Texas to beef up Apple's Austin offices. Apple purchased a small chip design start-up there two years ago.

Apple has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story. Samsung declined to comment.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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