Former chief iPhone engineer Mark Papermaster has joined Cisco Systems as the head of its switching chip division.

The former senior vice president of engineering for the iPhone and iPod left Apple in August, according to published reports. His resignation came in the wake of a controversy over the iPhone 4's external antenna, which some buyers said suffered from poor reception when the phone was held in certain ways. Apple agreed to supply rubber "bumper" cases to all iPhone 4 owners.

Papermaster has already started working at Cisco as vice president of the Silicon Switching Technology Group, Cisco spokesman Neil Wu Becker said. That group oversees chips developed in-house for Cisco's switches, including the ASICs for the Nexus 7000 data-center switch and the Catalyst line of LAN switches, he said. Papermaster will report to John McCool, senior vice president of Cisco's data-center switching and services technology group.

Though he gained notoriety for his role at Apple, Papermaster spent 26 years at IBM, primarily in chip design, before joining that company. His hiring at Apple in 2008 led to a lawsuit by IBM, and he did not start at Apple until early 2009 after the dispute was resolved.

While some of Cisco's networking rivals buy silicon from third parties for their major switch products, Cisco still develops the main processors for its own equipment.