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Legendary CPU architect Jim Keller leaves AMD

by Parm Mann on 18 September 2015, 16:16


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AMD has experienced its fair share of high-profile departures this year, but today's exit is arguably the one that will resonate with the enthusiast community and AMD's most fervent fans.

Jim Keller, former Chief Architect of Microprocessor Cores, will leave the company today to pursue other opportunities.

Well known for his work during AMD's heyday, Keller (pictured) was involved in the creation of the original Athlon architecture, K7, and then served as a lead architect on K8. After playing an instrumental role in developing the world's first native x86-64 bit architecture, Keller later joined Apple and helped develop the company's A4 and A5 SoCs before rejoining AMD in 2012 to spearhead the firm's upcoming Zen architecture.

Speaking to HEXUS, an AMD spokesperson has stated that "Jim was responsible for overseeing the teams defining the roadmaps for AMD’s CPU cores, systems IP, and server and client SoCs. "

Attempting to allay any fears over the impact of Keller's departure, the company adds that "Jim helped establish a strong leadership team that is well positioned for success as we enter the completion phase of the “Zen” core and associated system IP and SoCs."

"Jim’s departure is not expected to impact our public product or technology roadmaps, and we remain on track for “Zen” sampling in 2016 with first full year of revenue in 2017."

Looking ahead, Mark Papermaster, AMD's Chief Technology Officer, will step in as acting leader for Keller's team and will now help oversee one of the most important products in the company's history.

HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

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Oh well, there goes AMDs last hope of getting back into the desktop CPU market!
Question is did AMD let him go, or did he go of his own accord?

If it's the former then more fool AMD, if it's the later then I guess there's not much they could've done about it, at least he finished ZEN core before he left.
I wonder if this has anything to do with the rumor that Microsoft will buy out AMD
Probably he was too expensive for amd at the moment, so he joined to make zen and now that it is as far as I know ready (design wise) he is leaving again.

Maybe he will join again if amd manage to get some profit with zen.

I have high expectations from zen and it happens to come out around the time I plan to upgrade my current system, I hope it will be good because I don't really want to jump ship to intel, but I will do it if I can't get a cpu that with good per core performance (in a good price ofc).
Either he rejoined to design and see Zen through to the final stages, or AMD are now in a very bad position.