AMD to Hire Back Former Graphics Chip Honcho from Apple
A former AMD graphics chip engineer is set to rejoin the company four years after he left to take a graphics architecture director job at Apple.
A former AMD (NYSE: AMD) graphics chip engineer is set to rejoin the company four years after he left to take a graphics architecture director job at Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Raja Koduri, an eight-year AMD veteran, will return to the chip maker in an undetermined role in the graphics department, according to a CNET report, which also said an announcement is expected this week.
The Koduri hire further signals AMD’s intention to continue to flesh out its roster of top-drawer graphics engineering and design talent. Other hotshots on its lineup include Jim Keller, the former head of Apple’s chip design operation hired last August as chief microprocessor architect reporting to Mark Papermaster, a former Apple iPhone engineering senior vice president. In what’s become a give-and-take of sorts between AMD and Apple over graphics engineering hires, last summer Apple landed John Bruno, notable for his work on AMD’s Trinity APUs, as its new system architect.
Koduri, who departed Apple in March for technical adviser role to the board of Makuta VFX, an Indian visual effects company, evidently was a hard-to-get addition for AMD, which reportedly wooed him for some time, according to sources in the CNET report. There’s some suggestion that the opportunity to again work with Keller was a factor in Koduri making the deal, particularly the challenge of executing AMD’s strategy to integrate as many graphics and processing features onto chips as possible.
His initial stint at AMD arose from the chip maker’s $5.4 billion acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006, when he transitioned over after serving as Advanced Technology Development director for six years.
It will be interesting to see to what degree any of AMD’s flashy hires make a material difference in its processor unit sales. With PC and server sales in the dumps and unlikely to improve, AMD will have to make a stronger mark in settings outside traditional IT and perhaps, as CNET notes, duplicating its recent noteworthy win with the impending Sony Playstation 4.