Intel snags AMD's Athlon 64 / Zen CPU architect Jim Keller
In just a few years, AMD seems to have lost quite a few key people who contributed greatly to the company’s success over the last 2 decades. Raja Koduri joined Intel earlier this year in order to help with the launch of the upcoming discrete GPUs. A few weeks ago Chris Hook also decided to leave AMD, but it is not clear where he will end up. Rumors say he could be joining Intel, as well, since he and Koduri have been close collaborators at AMD, plus Hook’s main expertise is GPU marketing. Just recently, another AMD veteran, Jim Keller, decided to join Intel. Previously, Keller had been working for Tesla as VP of AI Autopilot Hardware Engineering since 2016.
Before Tesla, Keller worked for Apple to develop the A4 and A5 mobile SoCs, but what he is really known for is his contribution to the Athlon K7 and K8 microprocessors that were first to be clocked at 1 GHz, crushing Intel’s CPUs back in early 2000s. Keller also worked on the first consumer 64-bit processors, pushing AMD to control half of the CPU market shares in the mid-2000s. Returning from Apple in 2012, Keller helped once again with the development of the Zen microarchitecture.
Apparently, Intel is well aware of the Ryzen threat and is now trying to recruit as many industry visionaries as it can. While Keller could put his expertise to good use in order to develop upcoming innovative CPU architectures that can aid Intel regain the upper hand in the CPU war against AMD, Koduri and possibly even Hook could transform the company into an important player on the discrete GPU market.