Businessweek Profiles Johny Srouji

Brad Stone, Adam Satariano, and Gwen Ackerman, profiling Johny Srouji for the Businessweek cover story:

At the center of all this is Srouji, 51, an Israeli who joined Apple after jobs at Intel and IBM. He’s compact, he’s intense, and he speaks Arabic, Hebrew, and French. His English is lightly accented and, when the subject has anything to do with Apple, nonspecific bordering on koanlike. “Hard is good. Easy is a waste of time,” he says when asked about increasingly thin iPhone designs. “The chip architects at Apple are artists, the engineers are wizards,” he answers another question. He’ll elaborate a bit when the topic is general. “When designers say, ‘This is hard,’ ” he says, “my rule of thumb is if it’s not gated by physics, that means it’s hard but doable.”

Update: This bit toward the end of the article has stuck in my craw all day:

It also lags behind Samsung in some areas of chip development, such as adding a modem to the central processor to conserve space and power and transitioning from a 20-nanometer chip design to a more compact 16-nanometer format, which means even more transistors can be crammed into a smaller space. “If I was just arguing hardware and not Apple’s marketing, I would say Samsung has the best processor,” says Mike Demler, a senior mobile chips analyst at the Linley Group, a technology consulting firm in Silicon Valley.

This quote just reeks of false balance — the notion that at the end of an article whose central thesis is that Apple has the industry’s best mobile chip design team, Businessweek needed a quote from someone saying it’s all just marketing hype and that Samsung actually designs better CPUs. That’s nonsense. Nobody who knows what they’re talking about disputes the fact that Apple’s in-house-designed A-series chips lead the industry.

What are the odds that the Linley Group has Samsung as one of its consulting clients?

Thursday, 18 February 2016