Apple’s lead iPhone chip designer leaves the company

Gerard Williams III, lead designer of Apple’s custom iOS chips from A7 to A12X, has departed the company, according to CNET.

Williams led the development of all Apple processors from the A7, which first appeared on the iPhone 5S, to the A12X that’s inside Cupertino’s latest iPad Pros.

He came to Apple with a splash, as the A7 was Apple’s first 64-bit CPU core. This design arrived on the market over a full year before competitors like Qualcomm and Samsung could respond and largely cemented the technical prowess of the SoC team Apple had created.

It’s unclear why Williams left Apple. He probably still had a hand in the development of the next few devices Apple will roll out, though, maybe even the first Macs powered by in-house processors — that is, if reports that Cupertino is dropping Intel for its own laptop chips are true, of course.