Over the last year there have been numerous reports about AMD executives leaving the company, but today's news is different as AMD has managed to rehire Jim Keller from Apple. Keller was the lead architect of the K8 architecture and of the x86-64 specification, he will leave his post as a director in the platform architecture group at Apple to take up a position as AMD Corporate Vice President and Chief Architect for CPU cores.
AMD announced today that Jim Keller, 53, has joined the company as corporate vice president and chief architect of AMD's microprocessor cores, reporting to chief technology officer and senior vice president of technology and engineering Mark Papermaster. In this role, Keller will lead AMD's microprocessor core design efforts aligned with AMD's ambidextrous strategy with a focus on developing both high-performance and low-power processor cores that will be the foundation of AMD's future products.
"Jim is one of the most widely respected and sought-after innovators in the industry and a very strong addition to our engineering team," said Papermaster. "He has contributed to processing innovations that have delivered tremendous compute advances for millions of people all over the world, and we expect that his innovative spirit, low-power design expertise, creativity and drive for success will help us shape our future and fuel our growth."
Keller was most recently a director in the platform architecture group at Apple focusing on mobile products, where he architected several generations of mobile processors, including the chip families found in millions of Apple iPads, iPhones, iPods and Apple TVs. Prior to Apple, Keller was vice president of design for P.A. Semi, a fabless semiconductor design firm specializing in low-power mobile processors that was acquired by Apple in 2008. While there, he led the team responsible for building a powerful networking System on a Chip (SoC) and its integrated PowerPC processor. Keller previously worked at SiByte and Broadcom as chief architect for a line of scalable, MIPS-based network processors that supported 1Gig networking interfaces, PCI and other control functions. Before Broadcom, he spent several years at AMD, playing an instrumental role on the design team responsible for the groundbreaking AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron 64 processors, which featured the world's first native x86-64 bit architecture.
Keller co-authored the widely adopted HyperTransport specification, as well as the innovative x86-64 processor instruction set, which is used around the world today in hundreds of millions of desktop, notebook and server systems. Jim was a corporate consulting engineer at DEC, and architected two generations of Alpha processors during his tenure there. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University.