There is always a fairly fluid movement of engineers in the companies we cover, but recently AMD has made a number of substantial hires into several of its biggest departments.

The newest hire as reported by AMD is of Dan McNamara, former Senior Vice President of Intel’s Network and Custom Logic Group (formerly the Programmable Solutions Group) for several years and one of Intel’s hires from the Altera acquisition, having spent 11 years at Altera. Dan is set to be AMD’s SVP and GM of the Server Business Unit. This means that Dan’s role will expand through to accelerate AMD’s EPYC portfolio in order to engage better with AMD’s customers about server solutions built through AMD hardware. This is a slight jump away from his previous focus of SoCs, ASICs, and FPGAs, which may make some readers think that AMD might be going in that direction: Forrest Norrod is still heading up AMD’s Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom Business Group. Dan’s hiring was the focus of a recent AMD blog post about promotions and new hires.

While not specifically promoted by AMD in that post, the company has also made two key hires, both of which have spent the last 20+ years at IBM. First on that list is Dr. Bradley (Brad) McCredie, which AMD actually hired back in June. Brad started at IBM back in 1991 focusing on packaging and mainframes, eventually having spent over 28 years at IBM which includes stints in POWER system development and also holding the position of President of the OpenPOWER Foundation. He is now set in a role in AMD as a Corporate Vice President of GPU Platforms, but specifically will cover the execution of AMD’s data center strategy covering CPU and GPU, reporting directly to Forrest Norrod.

The other IBM hire is Joshua (Josh) Friedrich, a 20-year IBM veteran with roles in POWER5 clock gating, the POWER6 frequency lead, the POWER7 Chip Power Lead, the POWER8 Chip Circuit Lead, POWER9 concept/high-level design and uncore development, and his final role was developing future POWER designs at IBM. Within AMD, Josh’s role is listed as Corporate Vice President, and a spokesperson states that Josh’s role is in CPU/GPU integration technologies, reporting to CTO Mark Papermaster. That isn’t a lot to go on, as it could cover APUs or something more unique, and on probing AMD for more information, they’ve confirmed that it’s more on the platform/solution side to create differentiated products.

There is one departure to note: Scott Aylor, the Corporate Vice President and GM of AMD’s Data Center Solutions Group, is currently on leave and is set to leave the company at a future date. Dan McNamara is taking over his role, and CRN is reporting that Aylor’s departure is not related.

Title image, from left to right: Brad McCredie, Dan McNamara, Josh Friedrich

Update 1/22: Our moles have done some extra digging, and AMD hired two other long-time IBM employees in 2019.

Greg Wetli, who AMD hired back in February 2019 to manage server processor validation, spent 31 years at IBM in POWER processor validation as well as different aspects of chip design and tooling as far back as POWER4.

Norman James, hired back in March 2019 as an AMD Fellow on system architecture, spent 23 years at IBM starting as a senior engineer on POWER6 before working through to lead engineer on IBM's Lead Engineer of Cognative Systems, focusing on deep learning and machine learning.

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  • Lord of the Bored - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    Pretty much the only thing I'll agree with HStewart about. If there hadn't been an industry-standard second-source for the 8088, IBM would've used a different processor. We'd all be better off today.
  • bigvlada - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    MC 68000 still needed more debugging at the time.
  • Lord of the Bored - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    We coulda had a TMS9000-based IBM PC!11
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    While I admire that architecture for being "different", I can't help but think that it wouldn't have gone anywhere: Registers in DRAM? Makes me shudder with hindsight, had my jaw drop at their audacity at the time! Hardly mattered when the simplest logic instructions executed in plenty of kilohertz cycles.

    Of course today it would probably just translate to some RISC-µops anyway.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    Right of wrong, this is what I referring to. Think it about this way ( say any company, any product and not just Intel ). In theory say in the that the future console designed from AMD because so important that companies like Microsoft / Sony desired a second source of GPU to protect that interests and force AMD to second source the GPU to another company - in this case could be Sony or even NVidia. Will you then say we are better off. Keep in mind that x86 processors are not like ARM CPU which run by organization to support by multiple companies. Now did Apple do the right thing and modified the designed the ARM CPU for its internal purpose.
  • Lord of the Bored - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    HStewart, you act like IBM bullied Intel into a unique arrangement.
    At the time, microprocessors were considered a component to make a product with, not a product themselves. EVERYONE had a second-source supplier for any component they wanted to sell outside their own company. Even respected companies with a history of quality product and ability to provide parts in quantity at reasonable prices, like Fairchild, National, and TI.
    It prevented product manufacturers from being at the mercy of component suppliers if the latter had production issues, decided to start price-gouging, or just plain old couldn't meet demand.
    In fact, AMD was already a second-source manufacturer for several of Intel's components years before the IBM deal(and Intel was a second-source for several of AMD's components).

    Why should a memory company just getting into the microprocessor business play by different rules than people with established track records?
    (AMD had also reverse-engineered the design of Intel's 8080 and introduced a clone, the Am9080. Again, because reverse-engineering was common in those days.)
  • Korguz - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    Lord of the Bored, welcome the the hstewart way if thinking :-)
  • sarafino - Friday, January 24, 2020 - link

    Intel had every right to refuse to enter that second source agreement. But they wanted all the money that would come from agreeing to the second source. Intel isn't in a position to play the sympathy card. They did it to themselves.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    Your hiatus was not long enough.
  • rrinker - Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - link

    ONE guy from Intel, who came from Altera, not Intel's CPU side, and it's a turned tide or rats jumping off a sinking ship? Wow. Fanboy much?

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