I had a feeling I was going to have to write a post like this after I published that Rick Bergman left AMD. Those of you who remember the RV770 and RV870 stories may remember the name Carrell Killebrew, one of many AMDers who was instrumental in the complete turnaround of their GPU strategy. If you flip back through the RV770 story you'll remember that there was one AMD executive who supported Carrell's strategy of a small(er)-die RV770. The relevant excerpt from the RV770 story is below:

There were many individuals at ATI that were responsible for the RV770 we know today getting green lighted. ATI’s Rick Bergman was willing to put himself and his career on the line, because if this didn’t work, he’d be one to blame. Carrell recalled a story where Rick Bergman and others were at a table discussing RV770; Rick turned to Matt Skynner and asked him if he thought they could really do it, if they could make RV770 a smaller-than-NVIDIA GPU and still be successful, if it was possible to create a halo in the Performance segment. Matt apparently pondered the question, turned to Rick and said “I think we can”. Carrell felt that ATI might not have gone down that path if it weren’t for Matt Skynner’s support and Rick Bergman making sure that the project was executed as well as it ended up being.
With Bergman gone, I was afraid Carrell would follow. Unfortunately, it's a lot worse. Not only is Carrell Killebrew gone, but around 10% of AMD's workforce join him in yesterday's announced layoffs. Many of the PR people we work with at AMD are now gone, as well as higher ups like Carrell Killebrew and Patrick Moorhead. 
I'd like to wish all of the AMDers the best of luck going forward. The beauty of the tech industry is there are always options. Hopefully we'll see some of these folks appear at Apple, Intel, NVIDIA and Qualcomm.

Source: Icrontic



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  • Beenthere - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Best wishes to those who are departing AMD. It's never easy being booted. In life when one door closes, often another opportunity presents itself.

    Let's hope Read knows what he is doing and can get AMD sorted out. He can't do it alone so there will be new people coming into AMD as well. AMD has some good products now and more in the pipeline. They need to execute better at GF and TSMC for AMD to move forward in big strides.
  • FATCamaro - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    I can't believe you would go up on stage with jeans that show your unit.... Reply
  • ezekiel68 - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Funny, I hadn't noticed. I guess it all depends on what you're looking for. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    Its a shame they sold all their mobile technology a few years back, what they could really do with right now is a good ARM SoC. I think they should still be able to make one though, ARM will licence out a core to anyone who pays, and AMD has both CPU and graphics building expertise. Few sectors are growing as rapidly as ARM SoC's. Its clear that continuing to compete with Intel directly will be difficult for them and they will have to fight tooth and nail for every bit of profits, I think they could build a formidiable ARM SoC though, if only they started three years ago. That's one of the reasons their last CEO got the boot, right? I hope they still do it though, better late then never, and Windows 8 on ARM should be pretty big. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, November 05, 2011 - link

    Their technology is successful at Qualcomm and Broadcom at least. That is actually better then something failing in house. That's more then you can say about nVidias tech that has been marginalized by being tied to their own products now rather then an addition/companion to another SoC/platform. Their survival in that field is dependent on that it makes it in the tablet market, but it got tough competition from TI, Samsung, Qualcomm, Freescale and other now. GF already does ARM SoC's for mayor vendors and semi-companies there really are no reason for AMD to cook a standard ARM IP macro or soft SoC. GF already has in-house developed ARM IP tech of their own. But they got other clients. Competition would be far grater in this field though also. Windows 8 tablets should pretty much exclusively be x86 I guess. Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, November 04, 2011 - link

    but the last AMD cpu i bought was Athlon64, and it now seems that my last GPU will be the Radeon5770 that is still in my system.

    i guess that the great talents of both companies did a good job together, but now it seems that BOTH camps are empty. AMD has no gpu and no cpu talents from old times.
  • mxnerd - Saturday, November 05, 2011 - link

    AMD really sholud have licensed ARM three years ago. But with 10% workforce and lead engineer gone, really wonder AMD's future. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, November 05, 2011 - link

    I think we can safely say that there will be continued strive for smaller GPU-architecture design thanks to their current plans and products with integrated gpus and APUs where they just can't spend a billion transistors on the graphics. They will have to re-think again to pull it off in our mobile world where mobile gpus for laptops and Fusion APUs will be their biggest graphics silicon market. They sold off the tech ATi had acquired in the field though, but a fresh start might be good. However the mobile and embedded players will get a larger role in this I would guess, their gpus and drivers have to be pretty good and suitable for all types of multimedia. I guess there will be some convergence there at least all platforms will support pretty much the same features though AMD probably won't go for the handset market but I can see them delivering low-power chips for Tablet PCs or some such. Intel hasn't really come up with a GPU for their embedded market either so. But they will have to do more with less (transistors) definitively. CPUs and custom logic gets faster, to be a compute engine they will have to do more with what they got or they will simply be framebuffers plus lots of drivercode and not the high-tech industry it can be.

    I think high-end gpus will be pretty much out even when it comes to games in the future though. Games have been pretty stuck as well as the tech under it all it's simply a matter of targeting now, even integrated graphics is pretty competent now. Mid-end should have a great future in the notebook computer space for some time to come though. You still need an architecture that scales though. But just not so badly downwards smaller versions/platforms.
  • fdfsxcvdcfdh - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    ONLINE STOR good shopping

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