AMD graphics CTO Eric Demers left the company earlier this week to pursue opportunites elsewhere. According an “industry source close to the matter,” those opportunities are at Qualcomm. The two companies actually have a bit of a history. Qualcomm licensed AMD graphics technology back in 2007. A couple of years later, it bought up the assets from AMD’s handheld business. Qualcomm also signed on with GlobalFoundries, AMD’s former fabrication arm.
This report remains unconfirmed, but it makes a lot of sense. Although Qualcomm has largely focused on wireless technologies, its Snapdragon SoC can be found in a range of smartphones from the likes of HTC, Samsung, and LG. Snapdragon’s Adreno graphics core is based on the Imageon technology Qualcomm acquired from AMD, and it’s potent enough to power Sony’s PlayStation-certified Xperia Play. Snapdragon SoCs can also be found in a number of tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.
Despite the fact that Qualcomm is seemingly positioned to make a bigger play for tablets, AMD reportedly doesn’t view the company as a competitor. Interesting. AMD has made no secret of its plans to pursue an SoC-style approach to future products, and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see the two companies working together. Thanks to TR reader Chris for the tip.