AMD Hires Ex-Apple Graphics Guru

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Perpetual PC chipmaking underdog AMD is having a rough time of it in the mobile age. The stock is in the tank, and they lost $146 million last quarter on $1.09 billion in revenue. AMD needs to figure out a way to make a splash in mobile quick if it intends on surviving.

Over the past year, there’s been some sign that AMD has been taking this threat seriously. Last August, Jim Keller — previously director of Apple’s mobile platform architecture group — was enticed over to AMD, reporting to former Apple hardware chief Mark Papermaster. Reportedly, Keller was focusing on developing high-performance, low-power processor cores at AMD.

Now it looks like AMD is looking to beef up its mobile division even further. It is now being reported that AMD has poached Raja Koduri, Apple’s director of graphics architecture.

CNET reports that AMD will soon report the hire.

Who is Koduri, though? He’s a graphics architecture specialist who will actually be returning to the fold after a four year stint with Apple.

Koduri joined Apple from AMD in April 2009 as part of the electronics giant’s push to build up its own chip operations. Instead of relying on partners like Intel to design processors for smartphones and tablets, Apple started creating its own chips for mobile devices.

Koduri served as director of advanced technology development at ATI Technologies before AMD acquired the company. At the time he left AMD in April 2009, Koduri was serving as chief technology officer of AMD’s graphics product group, according to his LinkedIn page.

AMD desperately needs to turn its business around, stat. Intel owns the PC and server markets, but has not successfully managed to make any sort of splash in mobile. If AMD can come out with a captivating mobile-friendly chip of its own, it could succeed where Intel has failed, but the going won’t be easy. To their credit, though, AMD seems to be hiring the kind of talent that is right for the job.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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