AMD unites CPU and GPU development teams

Written by Ben Hardwidge

May 7, 2009 | 13:33

Tags: #allen #bergman #cpu #fusion #gpu #group #integrated #merger #product #rick #takeover

Companies: #amd #ati

Nearly three years after AMD revealed its plans to buy ATI, it looks as though the two companies have now officially been united. The result is anew streamlined business model for AMD, which will see a single division of AMD working on both CPUs and GPUs.

The new product group is one of four groups that form a part of AMD’s new business structure. The three other groups will focus on technology, marketing and customers. According to AMD, the union of the graphics and processor groups will “better optimise AMD’s operations to drive industry-leading performance graphics and microprocessors and further integrate the company’s x86 processor and graphics technologies.”

AMD’s president and CEO, Dirk Meyer, explained that “The next generation of innovation in the computing industry will be grounded in the fusion of microprocessor and graphics technologies. With these changes, we are putting the right organization in place to help enable the future of computing.”

The new products group will be headed by Rick Bergman, who worked for ATI before the takeover, and now has the job of fusing AMD’s CPU and GPU development groups into a single organisation. As well as this, AMD has also announced that the former senior vice president of AMD’s Computing Solutions Group, Randy Allen, has decided to leave AMD, although no other details were given about the resignation. Meyer commented on Allen’s departure, saying that he “has been an important engineering and business leader who has played a key role in many of AMD’s most significant achievements in recent years.”

It’s clear that AMD is now clearly committed to its original Fusion project, with the goal of focusing on creating CPUs with integrated GPUs. Intel has already demonstrated its own CPUs with integrated graphics, but AMD could potentially come up with something more interesting with ATI’s expertise on the GPU side. With support for GPGPU APIs such as ATI Stream and OpenCL, an AMD CPU with ATI graphics could offer some worthwhile benefits over Intel’s equivalent CPU.

Of course, this also brings up the question of whether AMD will still want to commit a large number of resources to developing high-end GPUs in the future. We also wonder how AMD’s CPU architecture might change with the guys from ATI giving their input too.

Is AMD right to concentrate on developing CPUs with integrated graphics? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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