Details on what's happening behind the scenes at AMD haven't leaked out yet, but since the appointment of Rory Read as CEO quite a lot of notable executives have left the company. Last year Products Group General Manager Rick Bergman (former ATI VP and GM) and Carrel Killebrew left the firm, several weeks ago ATI veteran Eric Demers left his seat as CTO of Graphics at AMD to take up a position as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and yesterday ATI old timer Godfrey Cheng publicly announced his resignation.
These aren't the only ones though, last year Jim Mergard (Chief Engineering VP at AMD), Frank Helms (AMD Systems Archirect) and Brad Burgess (Chief Architect) left AMD to work at Samsung, and today WSJ delivers news that Samsung has also hired AMD's vice president Patrick Patla. The journal speculates these hirings point to the possibility that the South Korean tech giant may be planning to tackle the server chip market:
In the latest development, Samsung has hired Patrick Patla, a former AMD vice president who served until Friday as general manager of the business that includes server chips.
Profiles on LinkedIn show recruits in the past year that include Jim Mergard, a 16-year AMD veteran who was a vice president and chief engineer, and Brad Burgess, who was chief architect of a low-power AMD processor design known as Bobcat. The Samsung center is headed by Keith Hawkins, another AMD veteran who also worked at server maker Sun Microsystems.
Some of the new Samsung engineers have expertise in multi-function products known as systems on a chip, or SoCs, which are widely used in mobile devices to save on space and power. But the same approach can be used in servers to save on power, with some companies also planning to make SoCs for servers using processor designs from ARM Holdings that Samsung any many others use in cellphones.