Update: I've since confirmed this with AMD and they will be providing me with a response shortly.
AMD launched their next-gen Vega GPU architecture just a few weeks ago and it has been a sea of controversy ever since, but now we're hearing that Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri is going on a break until the start of 2018, with AMD CEO Lisa Su stepping into Koduri's shoes for the next few months.
Radeon RX Vega launched in two varieties: Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64, offering GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 levels of performance. Both cards were meant to represent a return to form for Radeon, especially as the GPU division split off into RTG in the end of 2015.
AMD was hitting quite a few home runs with the Radeon RX 400 series, their politically-charged 'VR isn't just for the 1%' marketing, and Polaris in general. The Radeon RX 500 series really wasn't that great and more of a rebrand and tweak of the RX 400 series, but Vega was meant to be a CHAMPION. AMD had planned Radeon RX Vega for earlier this year, but ran into multiple problems with HBM2 yields, and then Vega itself is hot, power hungry, and performs like NVIDIA's cards from 18 months ago. There's not much to work with there.
Raja sent out an email to his colleagues at RTG, where he said:
You haven't heard from me collectively in a while - a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.
Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.
At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn't believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.
I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.
Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!
The drama surrounding Koduri's temporary exit is going to be felt for a long time, meaning AMD's future in graphics is really in limbo right now.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about Raja taking some off from AMD.
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