AMD plucks new graphics executive from Intel

AMD hires former senior Intel researcher John Gustafson to engineer future graphics products

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday said it had hired former Intel researcher John Gustafson as the chief architect for graphics products, continuing an executive shuffle among chip companies.

Gustafson will drive the road map for AMD's graphics products, which includes the FirePro and Radeon processors that go into PCs, servers, tablets and gaming consoles. Gustafson previously was a senior architect at Intel Labs researching multiple technologies including energy-efficient computing and storage technologies. Gustafson takes on the role previously occupied by Eric Demers, the former graphics CTO who was hired away by chip maker Qualcomm in May.

Gustafson's move to AMD is the latest in a long list of chip executives switching companies in recent months. In August so far AMD has grabbed former Apple chip executive Jim Keller to run the processor group, while Qualcomm has hired former Intel mobility chief Anand Chandrasekher to run marketing.

AMD's rivals in the graphics space include Nvidia, which offers the GeForce, Tesla and Quadro graphics products. AMD is trying to make a push into the server and supercomputing space with the FirePro products, where graphics chips can be used as co-processors for complex scientific and math calculations or to deploy virtual machines. AMD's graphics products are also considered superior to Intel's graphics, but Intel has made progress in the supercomputing and parallel computing space.

Gustafson will help create an aggressive road map for graphics products that will aid AMD's growth in the graphics and virtualization markets, the company said.

Gustafson is the architect of Gustafson's Law, which proved that parallelism among processors can solve larger problems. Gustafson has stated that the law is a reevaluation of Amdahl's Law, which provides an understanding on the maximum performance of parallel computing based on certain models.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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