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AMD nabs Apple's chip designer to work on low power chips

Blast from the past comes back to help
Wed Aug 01 2012, 17:23
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APPLE'S top chip guy, Jim Keller has gone back to work for AMD, heading up its microprocessor core design team.

Keller who was a director of Apple's platform architecture group and worked on the A4 and A5 processors found in Iphones and Ipads had previously worked for PA Semiconductor, which was bought by Apple. Now Keller will report to AMD's CTO and another Apple alumnus Mark Papermaster, and will work on developing AMD's high performance, low power processor cores.

Papermaster said of Keller's appointment, "Jim is one of the most widely respected and sought-after innovators in the industry and a very strong addition to our engineering team. 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."

During Keller's first stint at AMD he worked on the AMD64 architecture, which has been the firm's greatest contribution to processor design in the past decade, and the Hypertransport interconnect. Even before that Keller worked with one-time industry giant Digital Equipment Corporation on Alpha processors, all of which add up to an extremely impressive cirriculum vitae.

AMD will be pleased that it has managed to swing a big name back to its fold given the recent reports of departures and the firm's recent lacklustre financials. Keller's experience at Apple designing chips that work well in mobile devices is likely to be the key to his second stint at AMD, with the firm looking to tablets as a market for its accelerated processor units. µ


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