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Apple Plans To Make Chips For Handhelds

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the single-core-multi-core-or-apple-core dept.

Portables (Apple) 154

Preedit writes "Apple plans to get into the business of designing microprocessors for handheld devices, according to legal papers that are part of a dispute between IBM and one of its top technology executives. IBM is suing Power chip expert Mark Papermaster for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement and accepting a job at Apple. In court papers, IBM claims Apple wants Papermaster 'to design microprocessors for incorporation in a variety of electronic devices, including handheld devices.' The suit, according to Infoweek, also notes that Apple earlier this year bought out P.A. Semi. IBM thinks it knows why."

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Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Semi (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589059)

When you buy a mobile chip designer [forbes.com] what else are you going to do with it?

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589099)

Being gay is very CPU-intensive so Apple is designing a dedicated chip to offload gayness from the CPU, resulting in more overall gayness at fagster speeds.

What a shame. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589501)

Your comment would probably be +5 by now if you changed "gayness" to "load" and fixed your misspell of the word "faster".

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (2, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589533)

If you want to squirt your friends either get a Zune or buy a sex sling, but leave my Apple stuff alone.

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589747)

Someone forgot to check "Post Anonymously", I see. However, I will make no such mistake.

It's too bad there isn't a clause in the GPL specifying personal hygiene standards. Oh wait, look who wrote it.

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (4, Interesting)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589725)

Chip designing these days is like the child game you used to play called connecting the dots.

People use the term SoC(system on chip) to describe them. It's actually quite modular. Basically you can license a arm core or a mips core and put in all your other blocks(PCI, USB, ethernet) all on the same chip, so if Apple were to license the ppc architecture from IBM I'm sure IBM would be happy. I doubt thats what they are doing since the iPhone is based on ARM.

Not a lot of people design processors from scratch anymore.

Unless he designs the processor from scratch he's really not competing. I can't imagine apple doing something that stupid.

That article alludes to his experience with low power. He probably knows a few tricks on how to reduce power load. This is the expertise they are drawing from. He isn't competing with IBM; MIPS, ARM and intel is.

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (2, Insightful)

firewood (41230) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589991)

There are several types of licenses one can buy from ARM. The most expensive type, the type Apple is rumored to have acquired, is an architectural license, which allows one to design ones own CPU core. Why would Apple buy this expensive of a license if all they were going to do was "connect-the-dots"?

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590099)

So they could hype up the new design as "built from scratch", have the fanboys wet their pants, and then backdate their stock options appropriately.

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (1, Funny)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590193)

So that's what that is! I thought my MacBook had just sprung a leak!

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (3, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591425)

Not quite true. A lot of companies still design microprocessors from scratch.

For example, look at Chinese Longsoon CPUs, nanochip, OpenCores, and so on. I also know that several CPUs are designed from scratch in Russia.

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591867)

I also know that several CPUs are designed from scratch in Russia.

In Soviet Russia... oh - wait - nvm.

It says IBM PWR server architect! Ouch! (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590219)

They designed Multicore server chips based on IBM Power architecture. (Also Mot, err freescale G4 based SOC's) Too bad they couldn't get IBM to invest in Power licensing besides gaming consoles for Apple.

Used to make HPC PWR server chips, IBM hurt! (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590243)

Here is their website, they seem like any design boutique - but especially a former IBM licensee - another slap, but where was IBM when Apple needed faster & low power portable notebook chips? Kissing game console makers asses is where...

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591193)

Power Chip?

SoC?

Apple?

Handheld?

.

I'm seeing visions of PalmOS again (and Graffiti).

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591343)

When you buy a mobile chip designer [forbes.com] what else are you going to do with it?

The same you do when you buy a 3D graphics chips designer [architosh.com] - not much? The only thing we see coming out of it is a person: Bob Mansfield - Senior Vice President, Mac Hardware Engineering [apple.com]

Re:Gosh and I wondered what they'd do with P.A. Se (1)

JYD (996651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591571)

Obviously so that nobody else can buy a P.A. Semi chip (which is a low-powered version of the PowerPC 970), build the Powerbook G5 that Apple and IBM can't build, and basically telling Apple, "how do you like them apples?"

Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (2, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589115)

IBM also claims that Apple considered replacing the IBM Power chips used in some of its computers with chips made by P.A. Semi.

Apple isn't using Power chips in any of its current computers, is it? The iPod and iPhone are ARM, and they're not making or shipping anything but x86-based Macs.

What am I missing?

Steve's plans for world domination? (1, Redundant)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589163)

Remember, they did say that 1984 won't be like 1984.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (5, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589291)

Steve's more like Henry Ford than Big Brother. Any color you want as long as you don't want page-up and page-down keys.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (2, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589447)

Huh? My first Mac keyboard (not quite three years old) has page up and page down keys. Never noticed my MacBook doesn't have them because the two-finger-scroll is so easy. They're normally buried in "Fn" hell on PC notebooks anyway.

As for colors, what color do you want [apple.com] ?

-Peter

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589699)

Fn-Arrow Up Fn-Arrow Down

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (2, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590017)

You're right! Now I'm going to forget that and just scroll with two-fingers. ;-)

-Peter

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590039)

Fn is for "FuckiN stupid key", right?

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589979)

PgUp and PgDn: upper right corner of my ThinkPad T43 keyboard.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590211)

Page Up and Page Down, on the right (vertical) column in a 3(horizontal) by 2 (vertical) bank toward the right side of my keyboard.

Right where they should be.

[][][]
[][][]

Yes.

[] []
| |[]
| |[]

No sale.

[Enter]

Yes.

  [___|
[Enter|

No sale.

[Backspace]

Yes.

[<-]

No sale.

No standalone number pad, no sale.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590689)

Your second design shown in ASCII art: what is that? Is that the form with an over-sized delete button right next to a page-up and page down pair, with the home and end keys on top?

Overall, it sounds like ypu insist on the keyboard layout shown at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Pc104_wide_delete_short_enter_xfree86_us_keyboard_full_size.png [wikimedia.org]

Right?

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591499)

Your second design shown in ASCII art: what is that? Is that the form with an over-sized delete button right next to a page-up and page down pair, with the home and end keys on top?

Yes. I have a couple Logitech keyboards that are like that. It takes a while to get used to the different layout. It kind of makes sense, since the Insert key is probably never used by most people.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590709)

Actually MacBook has page-up and page-down keys behind the "Fn" hell.

Page-up: Fn+Up Arrow

Page-down: Fn+Down Arrow

Home: Fn+Left Arrow

End: Fn+Right Arrow

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589479)

More like scroll lock and SysRq, whatever the hell they're good for these days. Good riddance.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589857)

Actually, SysRq is quite useful. If you ever lock up Linux, you can use it to talk directly to the kernel and do a safe shutdown. Then again, if you enjoy fscking your junk, more power to you.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (2, Informative)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590069)

I never knew about this, but it seems like a useful thing to know. For anyone else who didn't know this, you can find more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key [wikipedia.org]

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589953)

SysRq? Uh, I don't know, maybe for SysRq [mjmwired.net] ?
Besides, it doubles as "Print Screen", a nice handy button for taking screenshots.

What Scroll Lock does, I'm not sure. I suspect it does the same thing as C-s, in which case yes, it would be a useful button to have. Ah, it also stops scolling during POST.

Besides, not much stopping you from remapping all the buttons that are useless to you to whatever you deem useful..

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590597)

No single key for page-up, page-down, home and end was the last nail in the coffin for an Apple laptop for me. Went with Lenovo+Ubuntu instead.

Sure, it's not as smooth but a proper keyboard and apt-get/synaptic make some parts of the Apple product look immature.

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590799)

Steve's more like Henry Ford than Big Brother.

So you're saying Steve Jobs is an antisemitic conspiracy theorist?

Re:Steve's plans for world domination? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591109)

ironically, IBM is the one who did business with the Nazis [cnet.com] during WWII.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589181)

Maybe they want to move back?

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/04/23/1119241 [slashdot.org]

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589231)

Yeah, thats what Apple needs..another CPU arch switching mess and backporting nightmare.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589263)

That didn't stop them last time.

Actually, the last switch wasn't that bad. Yes there were problems, but considering the size of the effort..um.. I don't know how to finish this sentence.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (3, Informative)

shawnce (146129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589285)

Nope. PowerPC is not coming back on the desktop anytime soon for Apple. The P.A. Semi purchase is about SoC likely built around ARM for small devices (aka iPhone).

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589191)

OS/X is portable. They are still supporting Power based Macs last time I checked.
The next IPod touch could be moved to power if they are low enough power.
The next AppleTV could use a Power CPU.
A netbook could use Power as well. That might be a big win for Apple since they wouldn't takeaway any sales from Macbooks.

Now I am just waiting for Apple to buy AMD and Foxconn :)
I think they have the cash on had for AMD for sure.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips CURRENTLY? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589253)

But they're not using any now. You don't need *replace* chips you're not using anyway.

I think IBM's smart enough to be able to check the Apple store and notice the complete absence of any obviously Power PC based products, from iPod Shuffle up through the 8 core Xeon-based XServes. So who am I to doubt IBM's word that they're making and selling systems using Power PC? Clearly I'm doing a bad job in my search, and figured someone here could point me to the missing Powermac or Powerbook they're still shipping.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips CURRENTLY? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590333)

Note the past tense:

IBM also claims that Apple considered replacing the IBM Power chips used in some of its computers with chips made by P.A. Semi.

Apple was in talks with PA Semi long before they bought them and before they stopped making PPC computers. It was rumored that Apple was going to switch to their chips for their laptops but instead decided on Intel.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589289)

AMD? not going to happen. Too hot, and as poor architecture for hand held devices that need a lot of cycles.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589349)

AMD is going to roll out 45nm CPUs soon. A duel core 45nm version of their latest CPU would make a good laptop cpu.
Add in that there 780g gpu blows away what Intel offers.
Then throw in the ATI line so Apple can have access to the latest and greatest GPUs.
It might not be a bad buy for Apple.
But hay I don't write the checks.
The thing is if Apple did buy AMD and Foxconn they would have complete control from the ground up. I can see Jobs going for that idea.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590373)

Calm down Francis. The conversation was about AMD v Power. It not AMD v. Intel

Laptop? we're talking about hand held devices.

AMD and ATI aren't doing so well. So buying them means your tied to them as they lose market share.
IF they were tiny, and moving Apple products would increase their sales, then yeah I could see that.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589303)

OS/X is portable. They are still supporting Power based Macs last time I checked.

As I recall snow leopard or whatever the next version is called is dropping support for Power based Macs. If they were planning to switch back or support the chips on handhelds or something, why drop support on the G5s etc.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589463)

Dropping support is not the same as not being portable.
Do they claim support for ARM? I don't think so but the iPhone uses one.
Power on the desktop? No I don't think so.
Power on the iPhone, iPod, and maybe a netbook?
That I can see. But we are all just guessing.
Unless I am right. Then I am brilliant and insightful.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

Warped-Reality (125140) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589819)

IIRC, the reason PowerPC was dropped was power consumption/heat on notebooks, so it probably wouldn't go in a laptop.

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590093)

Dropping support is not the same as not being portable.

I realize that.

Do they claim support for ARM? I don't think so but the iPhone uses one.

They don't have an officially supported ARM release they are dropping support for either.

Power on the desktop? No I don't think so.

They ALREADY have PowerPPC on the desktop / laptop, and its currently supported.

Power on the iPhone, iPod, and maybe a netbook?

Again, what would be the point of dropping support for the PowerPC if they were planning on using it in the near future. They've GOT a PowerPC platform out there with a pile of users who will buy the next OS if they release it... if they are building it ANYWAY for some new device, why not sell it to the legacy crowd?

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (3, Insightful)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591697)

OS X ran on Intel the entire time it was in development. They didn't mention or release an Intel version until 10.4. I wouldn't put it past Apple Inc. to have an internal version of OS X for PPC, or anyother architecture, ready for the right moment.

Chip supply is a major weakness/obstacle for Apple. Smart business practice will have options should the current supplier have trouble with yields or other issues, not to mention forward looking technology ideas. Apple is not just smart about tech, they're smart about business. They won't risk their whole business on the fortunes of Intel. Let me repeat that, they won't risk their whole business on the fortunes of Intel. And t

Re:Where is Apple using Power chips currently? (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591293)

Now I am just waiting for Apple to buy AMD and Foxconn :)
I think they have the cash on had for AMD for sure.

Let 'em buy Foxconn, not like anybody likes that OEM shit.

But keep yer dirty hands off of AMD.

(Power on SFF devices by Apple would be nice. Even if it's just Apple TV and handhelds at first.)

are non-competes recognized by the courts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589133)

I thought non-compete agreements were essentially usless... this is all this guy knows how to do, you can't stop him from making money to survive.

Re:are non-competes recognized by the courts? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589775)

I don't know about most places, but in California (where Apple is based), the courts have already ruled that non-compete clauses are invalid [arstechnica.com] .

Good luck with that~ (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589137)

non compete employment agreement are not viewed very favorably in California.

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/08/08/california-supreme-c-1.html [boingboing.net]

http://www.workforce.com/section/03/feature/25/82/12/index.html [workforce.com]

http://www.employlaw.com/noncompete.htm [employlaw.com]

Re:Good luck with that~ (4, Informative)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589313)

Prolly why IBM is filing in NY.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/31/apple_ibm_chipper_lawsuit/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Good luck with that~ (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589733)

Prolly why IBM is filing in NY.

Wait, aren't we the California of the East Coast?

Re:Good luck with that~ (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590445)

haha, you wish!

Here is a quick check:

How many times during the summer can you see a women in a bikini? If walking behind her can you see the sides of her breasts?

Has it been warm enough to layout in your swim suit and tan in the last week?

I am of course talking about the real California, not those hippies in the middle or the tax leeches in the north~

Re:Good luck with that~ (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590417)

Oh, My bad.

Both are in CA, so I jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Thanks.

Still, New York is a tough place to try and enforce non-competes as well.

Re:Good luck with that~ (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589839)

Between Mr. Papermaster's residence in Texas and IBM located in NY, California law likely won't be involved.

Designing their own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589185)

And what was the last company that thought designing their own chips was a good idea.
NVidia right?
That ended in epic fail.

Re:Designing their own? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589323)

And what was the last company that thought designing their own chips was a good idea. NVidia right?

Um, nVidia has no option but to design their own chips, they're the top GPU designer in the world. A better question would be why Intel bothers designing their own GPUs instead of partnering with nVidia.

That ended in epic fail.

The failure wasn't in the chips, it was in the mounting.

Re:Designing their own? (2, Informative)

neumayr (819083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590021)

A better question would be why Intel bothers designing their own GPUs instead of partnering with nVidia.

Might be because nVidia's chips are heavily based on licensed technology, which would restrict what Intel could do with it.
Wasn't there a problem with Microsoft being pissed off because of nVidia's license for the XBox GPU, making them go to ATI for the 360?
Something like that, don't remember where I read it though.

non-compete == BS (0)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589201)

Non-compete agreements are such bullshit and should be illegal...

Re:non-compete == BS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589277)

Why? If you spend 5 years at a company and learn 'the trade' on their dime they should be safe from you running to the next company and spilling everything they worked hard to make, at lest for a short time. It would be massively unfair for me to take your designs for "insert tech here" and run to "insert corp/country of choice" and beat you to market , or, very closely join you.

Re:non-compete == BS (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589407)

THere are other laws that handle those situations. Telling a person he cant work in his professional field because he USED to work for you is wrong and unethical. People > Corporations.

Re:non-compete == BS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589429)

Stealing designs is already illegal in the first place. Non compete agreements prevent you from taking a similar job after your current job has been terminated, even if you have no intention to steal your former employer's trade secrets.

The real aim of non compete agreements is to lower your negotiation power. Take this salary cut, and no you can't go to the competition because of the non compete.

Re:non-compete == BS (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590409)

that may be true in some cases, but given that "IBM offered to pay Mr. Papermaster one year's salary in exchange for Mr. Papermaster to respect his contractual obligation to refrain from working for an IBM competitor for one year," i don't think that's the case.

it seems to me like they just don't want to lose their trade secrets to their competitor. and in a hi-tech field like chip design, a year's lead on the competition would be very significant (or at the very least enough for the trade secrets held by a former employer to be no longer worth much to their competitors). it doesn't seem like they were trying to prevent their employee from negotiating better pay or even to prevent them from defecting to a competitor.

assuming that Apple wants this former IBM employee for his innate skills rather than just his knowledge of IBM's chip design or business strategy, then there's no reason why they can't wait a year to poach him. if i were in the employee's position, i'd just take the compensation bonus and go on a year's worth of paid leave.

Re:non-compete == BS (1)

Just because I'm an (847583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590501)

I wonder if Sam Palmisano threw a chair across the room when he heard this guy was joining Apple...

Re:non-compete == BS (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589435)

Sorry, but it's not fair for one company to have better employees than another company, just because the hire smarter people or give them better training. We must redistribute smart, knowledgeable employees to companies that aren't as well off.

Re:non-compete == BS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589905)

Redistribution of knowledge? Only if your IQ is over 250k

Re:non-compete == BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25591085)

Not sure about knowledge, but I feel my intelligence redistributing just from reading this stupid thread.

Re:non-compete == BS (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589489)

Why? If you spend 5 years at a company and learn 'the trade' on their dime they should be safe from you running to the next company and spilling everything they worked hard to make, at lest for a short time. It would be massively unfair for me to take your designs for "insert tech here" and run to "insert corp/country of choice" and beat you to market , or, very closely join you.

Yea..the keyword there is if. If you do that, then you should suffer the legal consequences (if there are any), but you shouldn't be punished simply because you could do that. In any event, treat your valued professionals like they are valued, otherwise somebody else will. Like it or not, the labor market succumbs to the same market forces that every other market does...

Re:non-compete == BS (4, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589673)

If they can't keep you there by treating you well, providing you opportunity to grow or paying you well. Then why does a company deserve to hold a monopoly on your employment?

The other problem with non-competes is that there have been numerous cases where employees are laid-off, but their NC are enforced preventing them from getting jobs in the industry.

Also a company should not be defined by an individual contributor. A company's success depends greatly on the culture and teamwork within that company. Something that is not easy to export (or import, as many merged companies have found out).

Also "trade secrets" and patents are outside of the scope of a non-compete clause. And you are liable for civil damages if you distribute trade secrets. Even if you no longer work for that company.

Re:non-compete == BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589935)

As far as I'm concerned I own the knowledge in my brain, and no one has the right to tell me what I can or can't do with it.

Re:non-compete == BS (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590401)

"Why? If you spend 5 years at a company and learn 'the trade' on their dime they should be safe from you running to the next company and spilling everything they worked hard to make, at lest for a short time."

That would be true if they just paid you to hang out and learn. Their "dime" goes to pay you for the work you did to help their company prosper.

You can't take any trade secrets with you, but the general knowledge you gained belongs to you.

"Learning the trade" vs "Teaching your bosses" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590519)

Engineers who simply "learn the trade then apply it" aren't the ones that have to sign non-competes. Those are the worker drones.

The ones who are smarter than their bosses and get paid to solve the problems their supervisors don't have the brainpower to solve are the ones who have to sign them.

The knowledge came from his brain to the company, not the other way around.

Re:non-compete == BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589287)

No one forced the guy to sign the agreement when he accepted the job at IBM. How is it fair that Apple can steal IBM's intellectual property just by hiring this guy?

That said, I think IBM should allow the guy to work for Apple and then bury Apple with microprocessor patent licenses whenever anything he touches comes to market.

Re:non-compete == BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589701)

This is why non-competes need to be abolished everywhere. They are an afront to human dignity. There are laws to protect IP from disclosure, and they do not require imprisoning employees.

The mind of your employees is not your IP. Employees are individuals with their own rights and needs as humans, not capital or infrastructure to be shuffled around like property. You do not own employees nor their future productivity. You pay them periodically for the productivity they give you.

If your ex-employee has skills and ideas to use on his next job, and they are not defensible as patents or trade secrets, then he has done nothing wrong and you have no right to try to stop him.

Re:non-compete == BS (1)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589965)

Or people should stop signing them. Personal responsibility and all that.

Re:non-compete == BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590339)

welcome to permanent unemployment. would you like fries with that ?

Re:non-compete == BS (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590331)

God forbid people show some personal responsibility and not work for companies that force such agreements. Of course since it seems people will put it with anything as long as those numbers next to the $ are slightly bigger than at another company I'm not surprised.

Papermaster? (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589265)

"Mark Papermaster"? What is it with all the oddball last names in the technology business? There's Faith Popcorn, but wikipedia says her birthname was Faith Plotkin. But "Papermaster" sounds like someone who should be running either a D&D game or Dunder Mifflin (or Wernham Hogg, I guess).

Re:Papermaster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589477)

Exactly, glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that. Perhaps chipmaster sums up more of a Simpsons comic book guy look, than the Papermaster (which just sounds weak and..well.. lame).

Re:Papermaster? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589481)

Well in the olden days many people were named after their occupation. Maybe this guys forefathers were masters of papers?

Re:Papermaster? (1)

juiceboxfan (990017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589561)

Maybe this guys forefathers were masters of papers?

You mean like these people [animenewsnetwork.com] ?-)

Re:Papermaster? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589717)

Well who knows?
By the way, I like the age rating: May contain bloody violence. I guess bloodless violence is ok then.

Re:Papermaster? (1)

juiceboxfan (990017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590047)

R.O.D. was the first thing that came to mind upon seeing "Papermaster". Awesome name.

May contain bloody violence. I guess bloodless violence is ok then.

Ha! Yeah, for some reason bloodless is considered better than bloody. As a fan of the Three Stooges I tend to agree (imagine if what they did was real;-)

Re:Papermaster? (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590071)

I thought more like "Read or Die" type of name. But oh well. To much animu and mango on teh brain.

Re:Papermaster? (1)

Neurotic Nomad (1222606) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590583)

Worst Superhero Ever.

also, he should immediately prove, (1)

ypctx (1324269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25591369)

that he is in no way associated with the guy named "Pharmamaster".

IBM has a case (5, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589305)

except non-compete agreements were ruled unconstitutional [capoliticalnews.com]

And rightly so, I shall add. Non-compete agreements are total crap and I hope IBM gets smacked down hard in court over this frivolous lawsuit.

What, you thought I was going to support IBM on this one? Don't believe everything you read in the subject line ;o)

Re:IBM has a case (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589387)

You might want to look into that a bit further. First, from the article that blog quoted, I think the blog is wrong about it being unconstitutional. It's just against state law -- CA law. Second, even by "state law" the article meant "constitution", the decision only applies within CA, which has stronger pro-worker laws than just about anywhere else in the US. IBM is suing in NY. So this decision probably means almost jack squat for this case.

Re:IBM has a case (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25589603)

I prefer French law on non compete. If you have one of your employee sign a non compete, three conditions must be respected:
-limited scope on geography
-limited scope on time
and the better one
-while your former employee is unemployable due to the non compete, you must pay him a compensation for his unemployability. I don't remember how much but it's a certain percentage of the salary.

Re:IBM has a case (4, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25590523)

don't know about the first one, but IBM seems to be meeting the last two requirements:
-they're only asking that he refrain from working for Apple or another direct competitor for one year.
-they offered to pay him a year's salary (on top of his default compensation package) in exchange for his abidance with the non-compete clause.

while i think that non-compete clauses definitely have some potential for abuse by employers, i don't think IBM is being that unreasonable in this instance.

I predict this will be a failure (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589393)

Apple chips are bland and only favored by dieters and health nuts. Now if the company was called 'Tortilla,' well, then...that would be delicious!

Perfectly Legal (3, Informative)

jdb2 (800046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589531)

Power.org [power.org] is the standards body that controls the POWER(PC) ISA specifications, among other things. Its members include IBM, *Apple*, Freescale and many others. If you want to build a custom designed chip based on one of the ISAs "owned" by Power.org, then all you need to do is become a member and license the ISA of your choice. You are then free to design any kind of custom *micro*-architecture your heart desires as long as the ISA presented by your chip/micro-architecture is compatible with the ISA you licensed from Power.org .

I want some of whatever the hell IBM is smoking.

jdb2

Re:Perfectly Legal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590943)

I want some of whatever the hell you Apple fanboys are smoking.

This case is not about Apple's or IBM's rights to the Power architecture. It is about an employment non-compete agreement.

I know I shouldn't be, but I am surprised to see an Apple fanboy turn a case about employment rights into a harangue about Apple's licensing rights.

Good golly gosh! (-1, Troll)

Troll14 (1395683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25589827)

There is no way this is Slashdot. Where are all the Apple/Linux fan boys praising the article?!

Re:Good golly gosh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25590075)

Mm mmh hmmmmm! Mmmh!%#FKML$NO CARRIER
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