Apple Has Reportedly Opened New Engineering Hub Near Portland, Poaching Talent From Nearby Intel

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 31, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple appears to have opened a new engineering hub in Oregon, expanding the company's presence in the Pacific Northwest tech sector.

    Apple Store at Pioneer Place in Portland

    The Oregonian via Patently Apple reports that the offices are located in Washington County, near the border between Beaverton and Hillsboro, in the western suburbs of Portland. The building's exact location has not been disclosed.

    Apple has already hired close to two-dozen employees to work at the hub, including a number of people who previously held senior research or engineering roles at chipmaker Intel, according to the report. The information was gathered from job postings, social media profiles, and a person familiar with the matter.

    Apple poaching Intel engineers has fueled speculation about its rumored plans to release the first ARM-based MacBook as early as 2020, although it's common for major companies to recruit talent from each other.

    Intel's largest concentration of facilities and talent is located in Washington County, with four campuses and approximately 20,000 employees as of the end of 2017. Notably, Intel has CPU design teams based out of Oregon that lead development of processors based on 14nm and 10nm fabrication processes.

    MacRumors performed a basic job search on Apple's website and came across listings for hardware engineers with expertise in design verification and validation of Apple's system-on-a-chip designs, like the A11 Fusion chip in the latest iPhones. All of the openings have a listed location of Portland, Oregon.

    Apple has existing operations in the region, including a software development team in Vancouver, Washington, a data center site in Prineville, and an advanced computation group in southeast Portland, according to the report.

    Apple's presence in the Pacific Northwest extends to Seattle, where it has an artificial intelligence and machine learning hub. The company also continues to lease additional office space near its headquarters in Cupertino, California, while exploring areas for a new campus focused on technical support.

    Article Link: Apple Has Reportedly Opened New Engineering Hub Near Portland, Poaching Talent From Nearby Intel
  2. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Maybe this will help recruit some more AI talent because they could use it! Falling more and more behind every passing year.
  3. sirozha macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
  4. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    Whoops—haven't had my morning coffee clearly. Fixed that, thanks.
  5. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    More like every passing day. I use Google Assistant quite a bit and I swear it gets better by the day. When I use Siri it never seems to improve.
  6. xalea macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2017
    Corporate bloat, yay! There's no faster way to slow down innovation than to put more cooks in the kitchen.
  7. truthertech macrumors 68000

    Jun 24, 2016

    You're repeating a tired Internet theme among some folks. What we never hear are any meaningful concrete examples of what Apple can't do, but others can. Please let us know what we are missing out on. ???

    It's like Alexa and Google Assistant. AI is far more than digital assistants, but the studies show that there are only a few things the vast majority of people do with their assistants and Siri can do all of them. No Apple hasn't programmed Siri to fart on command, like one of the Alexa skills, but studies show that the number one reason people use smart speakers is: surprise, to listen to music. After that it is to set timers, check on the weather and traffic and check messages.

    Siri is far from perfect, but what doesn't get repeated enough is that Siri is by far the most regularly used digital assistant in the world, far outpacing Alexa and GA. She also knows many more languages and dialects/acccents than any other one.
  8. TheShadowKnows! macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2014
    National Capital Region
    "Throw the baby out with the bathwater"
    Maybe Apple needs to start afresh, deprecating Siri to legacy, and chuck it to a failed, first-attempt, towards an automated assistant.​

    My view
    Siri simply lacks referential context and, cannot thread any kind of conversation. In the best of cases, her only hope is to understand, and act on, one sentence at a time.​

    This is easily Apple's worst this century.
  9. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I've actually noticed a decline in Siri this year. I've had it speak random garbled words when trying to pronounce really difficult city names—you know, like "Overland Park." Hah. Other issues:
    • Not able to set simple things like timers sometimes
    • Saying a theater that is about five miles away is 27 miles away
    • Hearing "Showtimes for Avengers Infinity War Independence AMC 20" as "Showtimes for Avengers IT Independence AMC 20" and then not able to find the movie
    • Telling me that my front door lock isn't connected after it already unlocked my door. It does this a lot.
    • Telling me that I haven't setup HomeKit after it has already adjusted my thermostat
    • Not able to find my "Shopping list" to add something to. I ask the same query again and suddenly it works. I check the display and both queries were interpreted by her correctly when the text to speech was processed.
    • Doing one of those new knock knock jokes, I asked "Dwayne who?" and she started playing "In Hell" by Twiztid, which is a song, band and genre that I've never listened to before.
    • She thought she heard me say Chris when I didn't, and she matched it to some guy named Michael in my address book
    • Lots of cutting me off mid-sentence. One time it cut me off and she snarkily responded "Perhaps you should get a Magic 8 Ball" and that just pissed me right off.
    • Had a gift card for Dairy Queen for some reason, asked her "Where is Dairy Queen" and she responded with "OK, one option is Dairy Queen, which averages 4 stars and is inexpensive." Thought that was a pretty weird response.
    • Putting the query into the reminder and not getting the time. For instance when I was meeting a contractor at my house: "Remind me tomorrow at 4:30 to go home to meet with David" the reminder when it popped up said "Tomorrow at 4:30 to go home to meet with David" and it set it for 12:00pm the next day, lol
    • Having to structure questions in a specific way. For instance, asking "When is the high tide" returns information about a movie called "High Tide". Then when I followed up that query immediately with "When is the next…" and it cut me off at "next", it somehow correctly pulled up the high tide information!
    • During the Superbowl I asked if the Eagles have ever won a Superbowl and she told me the "NFL season is over" and then gave me information about the current score of the Superbowl, which was still in the 3rd quarter
    • I asked her when the movie Independence Day came out and she told me "Independence Day was on Tuesday, July 4, 2017"
    She also does more things that piss me off. I asked her the temperature and she went on this long spiel saying:

    "It doesn't matter what temperature the room is, it's always room temperature."
    (long pause)
    "Just kidding… it's 39F outside:"

    Why do I need to hear a joke and wait so long just to get the damn temperature? I was even walking outside for crying out loud so the joke didn't make sense in context.
    --- Post Merged, May 31, 2018 ---
    Technically the hockey puck mouse was still shipping for a little while in the year 2000. But then we get into the whole "Is the year 2000 this century or does it start in 2001" debate, lol.
  10. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Hillsboro is where Intel does a significant portion of their chip design so it could be a sign of more direct collaboration between Intel and Apple on chips (CPUs, modems, chipsets, etc.).
  11. kemal macrumors 65816


    Dec 21, 2001
    Couldn't Apple set up a design team in the back of a Newark Best Buy? When the store closes they could steal motherboards out of the PCs on display and make a Mac Pro.
  12. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    It is at least as likely that it is more talent raiding than more cooperation. Getting folks who have years of design validation experience to validate Apple's CPUs/chipsets; not custom Intel baseline design tweaked to Apple's desires. The Portland hub is cheaper than trying to relocate folks to extremely high cost of living Silicon Valley.

    If group A does the design then having a group B that checks/validates the work, it can be helpful that both groups are completely socially homogenous with each other. ( same 'water cooler' talk, same lunch table talk , etc. can lead to group-think. ). The can be an upside to having a decent chunk of the validation group be in Portland while the core design group is down in Cupertino. Periodic trips down to San Jose/Cupertino can keep the teams familiar with one another and a enough "culture sharing" to get alone, but it doesn't have to be blended to point they have all the same methods/approaches/viewpoints.
  13. zenkikid macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2016
    Been to that apple at pioneer place a few years ago during one of my yearly PNW trips. Definitely the nicest apple store ive ever been to. Its a bit of a pain in the ass to get to though.
  14. netdudeuk macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2012
    It doesn't get repeated because it has no significance. It doesn't make up for being by far the worst of the three.
  15. bob_hearn macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    Haha it was supposed to be. :) That was my fault. I moved to Portland in 1991 after we shipped ClarisWorks 1.0, hoping to drag the rest of the team with me. My partner Scott Holdaway helped twist Claris' arm so they were forced to relocate the team. But Claris insisted on Vancouver instead of Portland, because it was cheaper. I should have put my foot down...

    Bob Hearn
  16. munpip214 macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    I'm surprised by the Oregonian. Normally it picks up on things like this faster. If they have been hiring since November, would have expected something maybe at the beginning of the year
  17. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    What can an arm MacBook do that an Intel MacBook can't? For battery life, the biggest drain is the screen, so a switch won't help in that department.
  18. sirozha macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    Wow. We are hearing from Bob Hearn himself!

    ClarisWorks was my first office suite on Windows, and it was phenomenal.
  19. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Well, it depends what you're doing. If you're doing anything that's taxing the CPU/GPU at all, they can easily become the largest power consumers. If it's mostly idle, then sure, the screen.

    But I think it's more about Apple being able to control their own destiny by taking control over chip design, chip roadmaps, shipping dates, and production, things that would be a lot harder to do relying on Intel. Intel is not going to make major changes tailored just to Apple and Mac devices, whereas with ARM designs Apple can do that to a large extent.
  20. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    That does seems like it's just the place to set up a new design center if you want to really jump-start high end CPU design and get new high end silicon to market as fast as possible. Not only does it make poaching top talent from Intel a lot easier, having to move states, particularly when you have a family with school-age kids, is a massive hurdle, there should be a more than decent amount of skilled silicon engineers looking for work in the area after Intel's recent layoffs.

    However don't get me wrong, with the time to market of modern high end silicon it'll still be years before any designs actually started at the new office will show up in Apple devices, but they're probably already contributing to designs developed by Apple's California and Texas-based hardware design offices.
  21. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    This bears repeating and I would add: the whole privacy issue won't go away but I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall here-Apple have chosen to do something very difficult and perhaps impossible by having strict privacy guidelines.
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    But privacy is one of the reasons people buy Apple products. Google knows everything about you. Siri doesn't. Google or Siri?
  23. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    I'd say Siri even if it is not as "good" for that reason. Although I pretty much only ask simple things to Siri because I just am not used to a voice assistant even if I am of the Star Trek generation.

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