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AMD hires former Apple and Qualcomm engineers

To head the SoC and software divisions
Tue Jan 22 2013, 13:31
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CHIP DESIGNER AMD has hired two senior engineers from Apple and Qualcomm to boost its system-on-chip (SoC) development.

AMD shed over 1,000 jobs in the last year, trying to become a big player in the SoC business as PC sales slow down. To help the firm meet its goal, AMD has hired Charles Matar, who previously worked at Qualcomm, and Wayne Meretsky, who used to work at Apple.

Both Matar and Meretsky previously worked for AMD and Reuters reports that the two executives have rejoined the company to head key divisions. Matar will be installed as AMD's VP of SoC development while Meretsky will lead software development, both vital roles for a company that wants to become a big player in the tablet market.

Meretsky rejoins former Apple chip head Jim Keller, who also made the jump to AMD last year. While AMD has shed almost 15 percent of its staff in the past six months, that it is still able to attract senior staff from high profile companies bodes well for the firm.

Although AMD has a wealth of intellectual property, not least the graphics patents obtained through its 2006 purchase of ATI, the firm still needs to do a lot of work to convince tablet designers to use its x86 chips. Even Intel, with its marketing millions, is having trouble convincing firms to put as much effort into x86 Windows 8 tablets as ARM based Android devices.

AMD preannounced a number of chips aimed at tablets and all-in-one PCs at CES, with its Tamash and Kabini lines taking centre stage. AMD needs more than just chips to win business and that is where Meretsky's software team could be instrumental in seeing the firm's chips end up in tablets. µ


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