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Apple sued chip startup for stealing CPU secrets

Apple has sued a small startup chipmaker called Rivos for stealing secrets about new processors. The background to this is the large number of chip developers being poached by Rivos. Apparently, gigabytes of data have been “stolen”. According to a news agency report, Reuters Apple filed a lawsuit Friday against Mountain View, California-based Rivos. Rivos is a start-up that is still in “stealth mode” and apparently working on powerful ARM platforms. According to Apple’s lawsuit, Rivos would have poached more than 40 former employees of the group by 2021.

Ex-Apple employees allegedly stole data about upcoming chips

They would work at Rivos on their own system-on-chip designs that compete with the developments of Apple’s own chip design department. Apple claims, among other things, that at least two of the former employees of its CPU team downloaded extensive data about secret projects and passed it on to their new employer. There are “gigabytes of data” and “thousands of files” containing classified information about Apple chips, including SoC designs.

Rivos is even said to have encouraged former Apple employees to download the files before leaving the company’s CPU division. In addition, Apple apparently insinuates that Rivos secretly instructed former Apple employees via encrypted communications through the Signal app. Apple claims that Rivos could use the information stolen from the competitor’s employees to vastly accelerate its own development work. By taking legal action, they now want to ensure that Rivos can’t use the allegedly stolen data, that Apple gets its “property” back, and that an undisclosed amount is owed in damages.

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