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Apple Graphics Chip Designer Heading to AMD

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Apple's Koduri and Keller are together again, only this time under AMD's roof.

AMD has confirmed that it has hired on Raja Koduri, a former director of graphics architecture at Apple. He will be rejoining AMD after leaving the company four years ago, and will assume a role in AMD's graphics business as corporate vice president, Visual Computing. He will be reporting to Mark Papermaster.

“Maintaining AMD’s position as a leader in visual computing is the key to our long-term success. As one of the industry’s foremost experts in developing leading-edge visual computing solutions, Raja brings exceptional vision and strength to AMD’s world-class engineering leadership team,” said Papermaster. “Given his past record of success, Raja will help AMD lead the way in visual and accelerated computing and ensure we continue developing the industry-leading graphics IP that forms the foundation for our future growth.”

Koduri began his career serving as Director and Engineering Manager at S3 Inc., and then moved on to ATI Technologies as the Director of Advanced Technology Development in 2001. Naturally he was assimilated into the AMD collective when the company acquired ATI in 2006, and eventually moved up the corporate ladder as the chip giant's Chief Technology Officer of the Graphics Product Group before leaving in 2009.

Apple reportedly hired Koduri as part of the company’s push to build up its own chip operations. Rather than rely on partners like Intel to design SoC's for its tablets and smartphones, the company began creating its own chips.

After departing Apple earlier this year, Koduri served as Technical Advisor to the Board of Directors at Makuta VFX. This company is described as "a fully-fledged visual effects facility covering a full gamut of requirements from active on-set visual effects supervision through to immersive digital set extension, digital matte painting, high-end feature animation and effects work, clean-up, motion tracking and final compositing."

AMD and Apple have seemingly been tossing executives back and forth over the past few years. In August 2012, AMD named Jim Keller as its Corporate Vice President and Chief Microprocessor Architect. He previously served as a director in Apple's platform architecture group, and even worked for AMD prior to that. Keller now reports to former Apple hardware chief Mark Papermaster. The previous hardware chief was John Bruno who left AMD for Apple.

According to the report, AMD had courted Koduri for some time, wanting him to return to the company. Koduri and Keller efforts at Apple complimented each other, and will likely continue with both under the same AMD roof. Their expertise will reportedly help accelerate AMD's System-On-A-Chip strategy of cramming all the features it can onto a single central chip.

AMD reported a narrower first-quarter loss on Thursday, but its revenue dropped a huge 31-percent in a year-over-year comparison. To combat the slump in sales, the company has laid off a large portion of its staff and restructured its relationship with Globalfoundries. However in its report the company highlighted the announcement of Sony's APU-powered PlayStation 4, the Never Settle: Reloaded program, Radeon Sky Graphics, among others.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 19, 2013 4:42 PM
    Lets get some AMD powered smartphones on the market!
  • 14 Hide
    keither5150 , April 19, 2013 4:55 PM
    Heading to AMD????? better use google maps and make sure that you get there.
  • 12 Hide
    Mousemonkey , April 19, 2013 5:23 PM
    Quote:
    AMD should be very careful. Don't trust anything that comes from Apple! :p 


    But he went to Apple from AMD in the first place so what are you talking about?:heink: 
Other Comments
    Display all 17 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 19, 2013 4:42 PM
    Lets get some AMD powered smartphones on the market!
  • -3 Hide
    MANOFKRYPTONAK , April 19, 2013 4:47 PM
    I would like to see some AMD powered smartphones too, their APUs could take phone gaming to a whole different level. 4gb ram, 120gb flash, AMD APU, android or iOS I don't care. If you build it they will come...
  • 14 Hide
    keither5150 , April 19, 2013 4:55 PM
    Heading to AMD????? better use google maps and make sure that you get there.
  • 7 Hide
    Memnarchon , April 19, 2013 4:56 PM
    AMD should be very careful. Don't trust anything that comes from Apple! :p 
  • 12 Hide
    Mousemonkey , April 19, 2013 5:23 PM
    Quote:
    AMD should be very careful. Don't trust anything that comes from Apple! :p 


    But he went to Apple from AMD in the first place so what are you talking about?:heink: 
  • 4 Hide
    yobobjm , April 19, 2013 7:09 PM
    What AMD needs is more bright minds, they have, and have always had, the potential to do great things.
  • 2 Hide
    Pyree , April 19, 2013 7:58 PM
    Quote:
    I would like to see some AMD powered smartphones too, their APUs could take phone gaming to a whole different level. 4gb ram, 120gb flash, AMD APU, android or iOS I don't care. If you build it they will come...

    If the phone has an AMD APU, it will run W8 (not RT).
  • 3 Hide
    aggroboy , April 19, 2013 8:56 PM
    Wasn't graphics handled by PowerVR?
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 19, 2013 8:58 PM
    ... APU MacBook Air's? Can i dream?!
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , April 19, 2013 9:05 PM
    Here, more in-depth at AnandTech:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6907/the-king-is-back-raja-koduri-leaves-apple-returns-to-amd
  • 1 Hide
    cmi86 , April 19, 2013 11:18 PM
    Ahh I can see apple crumbling bit by bit back into it's little 1% market share. I can almost see the day where my coffee shop is no longer infested with massively smug douche bags with glowing apples on all their i-junk.
  • 0 Hide
    Norman Thomas , April 19, 2013 11:57 PM
    no wonder amd is stagnating too many people from apple's way of thought " we don't invent anything we just copy and rip off others and sue them"
  • 0 Hide
    Mousemonkey , April 20, 2013 12:05 AM
    Quote:
    no wonder amd is stagnating too many people from apple's way of thought " we don't invent anything we just copy and rip off others and sue them"


    What!! You really don't know diddly squat. What the heck does your comment have to do with the person mentioned in the article?
  • 0 Hide
    SoiledBottom , April 20, 2013 5:56 AM
    AMD...now with 50% more magical
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , April 20, 2013 6:06 AM
    Sounds like the Lethal Weapon 2 tagline...
  • 0 Hide
    anononon , April 20, 2013 4:07 PM
    Good for you AMD! goods news
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , April 21, 2013 9:07 AM
    Good move. Now he can put to use his creativity, and not just make eye candy for the technologically gullible crowd that flocks to iCrap.