AMD has been losing talent left and right over the past year. December saw the loss of VP of strategy Patrick Moorhead and Product Director Carrell Killebrew, among others. Just last week week, AMD lost the person responsible for getting AMD GPUs into every single one of the current consoles to NVIDIA.
AMD hasn't been very competitive on the CPU front, and the GPU front seems to be falling behind NVIDIA. Bulldozer had lackluster performance and Piledriver improvements don't seem to be enough to put AMD back into direct competition with Intel. Enter Jim Keller.
Jim Keller worked at AMD between 1998 and 1999 where he led development of the K8 architecture, arguably AMD's biggest lead over Intel, and co-authored the x86-64 specification. Even though he was only there for a short time, he certainly left his mark on the company. His resume is even more impressive with the work he has been doing lately.
Keller joined Broadcom in 2000 where he was the chief architect on a line of MIPS-based network processors. He moved on to PA semiconductor in 2004 where he continued working on networking systems. PA Semiconductor was acquired by Apple in April 2008 and he followed. He worked on Apple's A4 and A5 processors, which have powered the last few generations of mobile Apple products.
Let's hope that Mr. Keller can do some good at AMD as competition would certainly drive innovation, as well as bring prices down for all of us. However, since chip development cycles are fairly drawn out, it's likely we won't see the result of his work for three or more years from now, unless he manages to improve one of AMD's already in development chips.
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