Qualcomm hires former AMD ray tracing expert for its GPU team

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has added a heavy hitter to its GPU ranks. AMD’s former ray tracing expert, Paritosh Kulkarni, announced he’s joined Qualcomm’s team to work on DirectX 12.2 support for its Adreno GPUs. He’ll leverage his expertise in ray tracing to help develop DX12.2 features like DXR, mesh shaders, work graphs, and driver optimizations.

During his tenure at AMD, Kulkarni’s work ranged from rendering research to direct contributions to drivers for AMD’s graphics chipsets. Starting as a graphics API developer, he pivoted into ray tracing and became one of AMD’s top experts in the field. He was responsible for helping develop ProRender, the compute ray tracing API HIPRT, and other internal frameworks.

Qualcomm can likely benefit significantly from Kulkarni’s expertise. It hyped the Snapdragon Elite X as having “flawless” compatibility with Windows games, but that’s not proven to be the case. While the Snapdragon X Elite chips offer terrific AI computing power, there have been many problems with gaming on the new laptops.

Gaming has proven to be a weakness for the GPU powering the latest Copilot+ AI PC laptops. Even though the Adreno graphics are far greater than those offered by the typical Steam Deck’s APU, the less expensive device currently provides a much better gaming experience. The Steam Deck list of Verified and Playable game titles includes over 14 times as many games as the official list of “Windows on Arm Ready Games.”

While the Copilot+ AI PCs can already prove powerful choices for business and productivity consumers, Qualcomm wants to target every facet of the PC market. That means the company needs to increase significantly its compatibility with the most popular (and demanding) game titles.

At least on paper, the Adreno GPU has the performance capabilities to blow existing AMD and Intel gaming laptops out of the water. However, lacking GPU driver compatibility means many popular multiplayer games crash before loading. With Kulkarni’s expertise, this may soon change for the better.

Jeff Butts
Contributing Writer

Jeff Butts has been covering tech news for more than a decade, and his IT experience predates the internet. Yes, he remembers when 9600 baud was “fast.” He especially enjoys covering DIY and Maker topics, along with anything on the bleeding edge of technology.

  • bit_user
    What's funny is if all that changed about his commute was just what floor of the building he's working on. I heard AMD shares some buildings with Qualcomm, from when the Adreno graphics was a division of ATI. After AMD bought ATI, they needed cash and consequently sold off the mobile graphics to Qualcomm.
  • ezst036
    Qualcomm needs to hire a former AMD CPU-socket expert.
  • d0x360
    Jokes on Qualcomm... AMD was looking for an upgrade..aww that wasn't nice