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July 20, 2012
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has quietly hired John Bruno, the former AMD (NYSE: AMD) hotshot notable for his work on the Trinity APUs (AMD’s second generation A series Accelerated Processing Units), as its new system architect, according to published reports.
In November 2011, Bruno got riffed out of AMD in the chipmaker’s 10 percent workforce cut, which obviously cost it some top flight talent, but while at AMD he made a significant impact, working on delivering the Trinity APUs, designing the hardware specs and chip software. AMD ranks its Fusion series of APUs right up there in importance with the x86 introduction more than three decades earlier.
While working at ATI on its Radeon graphics card, Bruno became an AMD employee when, in July 2006, the chipmaker bought the graphics processor company for $5.4 billion.
It’s not exactly clear what Bruno is doing at Apple. Changes to his LinkedIn profile note his new position at Apple but don’t provide a whole lot of clues about what he’s up to at the company. But, owing in large part to his background, a fair amount of educated guessing is floating around.
A report at The Next Web suggests that inasmuch as Apple’s Macs are powered by Intel processors, it’s not too far-fetched to speculate that Bruno’s hiring may mean the company is now developing other processing and graphics chips. And, a SlashGear blog believes Bruno is “likely to be taking up similar reins” as he managed at AMD, quite possibly tied to Apple’s “rumored progress working on its own processors for mobile and desktop.”
Speculation notwithstanding, it’s no stretch to figure that Apple is enamored with Bruno’s expertise in developing processing power that ties exquisite graphics to small footprints to long battery life — which one day could see the company turn out a whole new class of products.
Although Apple’s channel-friendliness regularly is in question, its history of bringing channel-loving products to market never lies in doubt. Should Apple take to powering future mobile and desktop products with Trinity-like APUs as a result of Bruno’s influence, the channel undoubtedly would line up en masse to get a piece of that action.
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