Qualcomm snatches AMD’s former CTO, puts him in charge of supercharging graphics

Advanced Micro Devices, better known as AMD, is Intel’s only real competitor. They have less than 20% of the market, which should give you a clue as to how they’re doing. Back in 2006 they decided to buy ATI, a company that was widely known for their graphics processors. The goal they set out to achieve was to integrate their processors with ATI’s processors into what today is known as a system on chip. Now ATI also had a mobile graphics division, which AMD decided to sell to Qualcomm in late 2008. Fast forward to three months ago. Eric Demers, who started working at ATI in the year 2000, then became AMD’s Chief Technology Officer after the acquisition, he lost his job in February 2012. Now, thanks to a Facebook status update and a recently updated LinkedIn profile, we now know Eric is working at Qualcomm. His title is “Vice President of Engineering”. According to Tom’s Hardware, Eric will be responsible for making Qualcomm competitive in the mobile graphics space.

Does Qualcomm have a problem with their graphics processors? Yes and no. They’re not slow, but they’re not fast either. Imagination Technologies, who designs the graphics chips that go into iOS devices, will release a next generation GPU later this year or early next year called “Rogue”. If the rumors are to be believed, it’ll be an order of magnitude faster than anything that’s currently on the market. Then there’s ARM, who entered the mobile GPU game with their purchase of Falanx back in 2006. Their “Mali” GPUs are used by Samsung in their Exynos chips, the ones that power the highly successful Galaxy smartphones. Qualcomm, being an engineering lead company, doesn’t want to license ARM’s GPUs or Imagination’s GPUs, but instead want to build their own. Like we said earlier, what they’ve done so far with “Adreno” is good, but not great.

Eric will be in charge of fixing that.

[Via: Engadget Mobile]

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