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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  • silverblue - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    I wonder if JF is still working for AMD?
  • cfaalm - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Not good news indeed. I hope they can find their strength and a new opportunity to show it.

    JF? Just check the blogs. If he blogs again after today, he's still there ;-)
  • mmatis - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    "<i>Hopefully we'll see some of these folks appear at Apple, Intel, NVIDIA and Qualcomm.</i>"

    Or hopefully they'll start their own business and come back to body shop at AMD and the others you mentioned...
  • jeremyshaw - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    well, the nVidia CEO used to work at AMD, :p
  • vision33r - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    As Intel improves it's GPU performance, it's slowly killing Nvidia and ATI's dedicated graphics solutions.

    In a few years, other than high end games. Most people will stick to integrated graphics.
  • Taft12 - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Gaming has been the only reason for discrete graphics cards for many years already.

    It's up to AMD and Nvidia to create new markets which Nvidia is doing with Tegra and CUDA. AMD doesn't have the same high profile non-gaming GPU activity going on, and here is the result. Seems this 10% cut is hitting the GPU side hardest.
  • magnetik - Monday, November 7, 2011 - link

    You're quite uninformed about AMD GPU compute performance.The AMD OpenCL implementation provides much better fixed-point math performance than Nvidia.

    AMD GPUs perform 4x-6x faster per Watt than Nvidia GPUs when MD5 hashing, as is used for Bitcoin mining.

    If I were an enterprise customer looking to do some serious fixed-point math, I would buy AMD GPUs. The Nvidia "Tegra" brand is just a marketing ploy.
  • Th-z - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - link

    One of reasons. Graphic and design folks also buy discrete card. GPGPU is the new market that people start to buy discrete card.

    Yes AMD would need better product in GPGPU market. Let's hope their Graphic Core Next can better compete with NVIDIA's CUDA architecture.

    Not sure if the layoff impacts their GPGPU plan going forward.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    Intel would need to ramp up their driver department quite a bit. And AMD has quite a nice offering concerning integrated graphics already on the market. Also, GPUs can be used for heavy parallel computation as well. Is Intel considering Quadro/FireGL style graphics solutions?
    I think both AMD and nVidia will be fine for many years to come.
  • Arnulf - Friday, November 4, 2011 - link

    "The relevant exerpt from ..."

    Should really be excerpt.

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