AMD snatches up Qualcomm, Apple execs


— 9:34 AM on January 22, 2013

We always seem to hear about folks departing AMD, but not so much about the talent coming in to replace them. Reuters' latest story is an exception. The news agency reveals that AMD has made two high-profile hires, snatching up executives from Qualcomm and Apple.

Charles Matar, with expertise in low-power and embedded chip design, joined as AMD's vice president of System-on-Chip Development, two sources said. Matar most recently worked at Qualcomm.

Wayne Meretsky, who has worked at Apple on processors used in the iPad and iPhone, was named vice president, software IP development, they said. Meretsky will lead software developments for AMD's chips.

And this is no mere hearsay. Reuters claims AMD spokesman Drew Prairie confirmed the hires. Prairie also added that the two executives were hired to "help the chipmaker expand into new markets."

Those "new markets" will likely involve mobile hardware. AMD is already planning a renewed mobile offensive this year with Temash, a low-power system-on-a-chip device not unlike Apple's and Qualcomm's ARM-based SoCs—except that it's based on the x86 ISA, of course. Temash will no doubt power future x86 Windows 8 tablets. Also, since AMD already intends to offer ARM-based server processors, it seems within the realm of possibility that the firm could compete head-on with Apple and Qualcomm by offering its own breed of ARM-derived mobile processors.

Incidentally, Reuters adds that both executives had worked at AMD "earlier in their careers." In that respect, their return to the chipmaker mirrors that of former K8 architect Jim Keller, who rejoined AMD last year after a stint at Apple.

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