Industry News Desk
Apple Loses Chip Designer to AMD
It will be Keller’s second go-round at AMD
By: Maureen O'Gara
Aug. 2, 2012 07:45 AM
AMD has poached the director of Apple's mobile-focused Platform Architecture Group Jim Keller, credited with architecting several generations of the ARM-based chips found in the iPad, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV.
It will be Keller's second go-round at AMD. He was there years ago working on the Athlon 64 and Opteron 64 processors that featured the world's first native x86-64 bit architecture, a scheme Intel was forced to follow.
He also co-authored AMD's HyperTransport specification and the x86-64 instruction set.
Keller got to Apple by way of its 2008 acquisition of PA Semi, the fabless semiconductor design firm specializing in low-power mobile processors and tinkering with the PowerPC and SoCs.
He is now going to be chief architect of AMD's microprocessor cores leading the company's so-called "ambidextrous" design effort to produce both high-performance and low-power cores.
He will report to CTO Mark Papermaster, who was briefly at Apple a couple of years ago running iPhone engineering before he fell afoul of Steve Jobs and Antennagate.
Keller has worked at SiByte, Broadcom and DEC, where he architected two generations of Alpha chips.
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