Last year, more than 40 Apple employees switched to start-up Rivos, which incidentally specializes in chip production, in record time. Something to warn Apple that is now suing this company in a California court. And the folder is thick.
A coordinated targeting campaign
The brain drain affected engineers working on the first generation of Apple M SoCs. The American giant believes it was a deliberate attempt to steal industry secrets. He is denouncing a coordinated campaign by Rivos from June 2021 to specifically address competent people and hire them in exactly the same positions. Apple then sent him a letter to remind him of the duty of confidentiality that his former employees were subject to. But the letter went unanswered.
Apple would also have evidence of data theft by its former engineers. They allegedly used USB drives and AirDrop to download sensitive information like the signal to their personal devices or iCloud account MacRumors. Among the stolen data are project presentations of its future SoCs. They would then have tried to cover their tracks. Apple further argues that Rivos orchestrated everything by communicating with them via encrypted messages.
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Apple claims damages
Two employees are named. They are Bhasi Kaithamana and Ricky Wen. They would have taken thousands of files and hundreds of gigabytes of data between July and August 2021.
Apple said this could allow Rivos to significantly accelerate the development of competing SoCs. As a result, the American giant is asking the court to ensure that Rivos is prevented from using this information, but also that the former employees return what was stolen and he is paid compensation.
It must be said that Apple has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create its own Ax and now Mx chips. This strategy has allowed the company not only to become less dependent on OEMs, but also to improve the performance of its products and gain greater control over their design.