Feature Article

January 22, 2013

AMD Hires Former Apple, Qualcomm Engineers Leading to Speculation of Mobile Intent

PC chipmaker AMD hasn't fared particularly well over the last couple years in the face of dwindling PC sales, but like so many major players in the PC market, the company may be looking to offset this by diving into the mobile market. However, while up until now the company hasn't made any concrete moves toward this goal, it might have just done so with the hiring of two engineers.

Specifically, AMD rehired two former employees, Wayne Meretsky and Charles Matar, who left to work for Apple and Qualcomm, respectively. Matar boasts expertise in low-power and embedded chip design and has been hired on by AMD as vice president of System-on-Chip Development, while Meretsky, former technical lead for OS X at Apple, returns as vice president of software IP development.

According to an unnamed AMD spokesperson, these new hires will help the company to expand into new markets, but no further details were given as to exactly which markets. Still, though, based on the specific expertise being brought to the table by Matar and Meretsky, it seems likely AMD-powered mobile handsets might be unveiled in the future.

There's also the fact that these two were hired only six months after the return of Jim Keller to the company. Keller came back to AMD as chief architect having previously worked at Apple on the A-series processors that power both the iPhone and iPad.

Looking back at AMD's recent history, the company did very well during the netbook craze as its SoCs were capable of providing excellent graphical and computing power with low power requirements, so it will be interesting to see what AMD can bring to the mobile table, if anything.

In other recent news, AMD also recently appointed Devinder Kumar as senior vice president and chief financial officer after a thorough internal and external search. Kumar had been interim CFO since September 2012.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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