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Apple has made an employee acquisition that could signal the companies further development of Mac machines that are based on ARM chips. Cupertino has announced the arrival of Mike Filippo, a leading processor designer who has worked with AMD, Intel, and most recently ARM.

If Apple is serious about separating from Intel, Filippo coming on board will certainly move that ambition forward. It is a similar situation Microsoft is reportedly in, with Redmond too exploring changing its own Surface products to ARM and AMD.

While Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM laptops have yet to become successful, the company believes there is a future in the hardware. Especially because ARM chips are finally catching up with Intel machines in terms of performance. ARM also provides benefits such as increased battery life.

Apple is already a major ARM partner, using the British company’s processors in it’s A-series CPUs in iPad and iPhone. Bloomberg has previously reported Apple is seeking to switch to ARM architecture in its Mac machines by 2020.

Filippo’s LinkedIn profile has been updated, but merely says he is an “architect” for Apple. The profile also points out he has been working with the company since May. Filippo is working out of Austin, Texas. It is worth noting this is the location of the company’s multi-city headquarter expansion.

Intel’s Problem

If Apple does make a full-scale switch to ARM, the company will ditch Intel in the process. As we reported yesterday, Microsoft is also working on a Surface device that does not run an Intel chip. Instead the company is turning attention to AMD.

Microsoft has used Intel chips in its Surface hardware exclusively over the last five years. However, Brad Sams reports the company has grown frustrated with recent CPUs and is seeking to diversify.

Sams says Intel’s Skylake CPUs were particularly disappointing to Microsoft and gave the company a “black eye”. He goes as far as to say the relationship between Microsoft and Intel is now on “shaky ground”.