With respect to both structure and personnel, the last few months have been busy – if not tumultuous – for AMD. The company recently reorganized itself so that their graphics division and its employees are once again a whole entity under Raja Koduri as the Radeon Technologies Group, as opposed to being dispersed among AMD’s various technical and organizational groups. Meanwhile on the personnel front, last month AMD ace CPU architect Jim Keller stepped away from the company after completing his work on Zen. As it turns out, Jim is not the only recent high-profile departure from AMD; as discovered by HardOCP today and since confirmed by AMD, AMD Corporate Fellow Phil Rogers has left the company as well.

As one of AMD’s high-ranking technology & engineering corporate fellows, Rogers’ held an important position at AMD. For the last several years, Rogers has been responsible for helping to develop the software ecosystem behind AMD’s heterogeneous computing products and the Heterogeneous System Architecture. As a result, Rogers has straddled the line as a public figure for AMD; in his position at AMD Rogers was very active on the software development and evangelism side, frequently presenting the latest HSA tech and announcements for AMD at keynotes and conferences.

Consequently, though by no means the only person working on the software side of HSA at AMD, Rogers’ role in its development is an important one. Along with serving as a corporate fellow at AMD, Rogers was also a major contributor to the HSA Foundation, helping to initially found it in 2012 and serving as the Foundation’s president until he left AMD earlier this quarter. So if there is any one person at AMD that could have been classified as the face of HSA at AMD, then Phil Rogers would have been it.

Given his position within AMD, both on HSA development and as one of a small number of technology fellows (the highest technical rank within AMD), Rogers’ departure comes as a bit of a surprise. Prior to leaving the company, Rogers’ had been with AMD (and ATI before it) for 21 years, serving as a fellow for the last 8 of those years. AMD for their part isn’t saying much on Rogers’ departure beyond confirming that he left earlier in the quarter, however it should be noted that the company is currently in its “quiet period” before their Q3 earnings release on the 15th, which typically prevents companies from discussing personnel changes such as these.

From an HSA development standpoint Rogers’ departure comes at an interesting time. On the one hand HSA is still in its infancy, with the software ecosystem still being built up and AMD just now shipping their first full HSA 1.0 capable APUs with Carrizo. On the other hand the HSA Foundation did finish the HSA 1.0 Final specification earlier this year, and some of the other foundation members have announced that they’ll have HSA-capable designs available in the near future, so the initial work on HSA is done. In which case similar to Jim Keller this may be an AMD employee leaving now that they’ve accomplished their key technical tasks.

Meanwhile of equal interest is where Rogers has landed: AMD’s arch-rival NVIDIA. According to his LinkedIn profile Phil Rogers is now NVIDIA’s “Chief Software Architect – Compute Server” a position that sounds very similar to what he was doing over at AMD. NVIDIA is not a member of the HSA Foundation, but they are currently gearing up for the launch of the Pascal GPU family, which has some features that overlap well with Phil Rogers’ expertise. Pascal’s NVLink CPU & GPU interconnect would allow tightly coupled heterogonous computing similar to what AMD has been working on, so for NVIDIA to bring over a heterogeneous compute specialist makes a great deal of sense for the company. And similarly for Rogers, in leaving AMD, NVIDIA is the most logical place for him to go.

Wrapping things up, we may yet hear a bit more about Phil Rogers’ departure from AMD on the earnings call on the 15th. Otherwise it looks like it will be AMD’s Gregory Stoner who will be stepping up to the plate to replace Rogers. Stoner is AMD’s current Senior Director of Compute Solutions Technology and long-time Vice President of the HSA Foundation, and with Rogers’ change in employment he is now the managing director of the Foundation as well.

Source: HardOCP

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  • medi03 - Thursday, October 15, 2015 - link

    That's more of an excuse (but they can't make enough chips, I recall Dell said that), rather than real reason, as we've seen later. Reply
  • blppt - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Also worthy of note is that AMD's chipsets back when their CPUs were competitive/beating Intel performance-wise could be kinda flaky. I mean, there was an era where the best/most stable choice for AMDs cheaper, and P4 beating cpus was a VIA chipset. Or nforce2. Not sure Dell and the like were willing to risk alienating Intel for a flaky chipset like Via's KT series, no matter how awesome the Thunderbird, Thoroughbred, etc were versus the P4. Reply
  • shaolin95 - Friday, October 16, 2015 - link

    Same for me. I was holding on to AMD since I bought my first Tbird 1.4...tried as much as I could with the phenom II 965 as my last one until I tried the i7 920 and from there never turned back. I need performance not sentiment...AMD just couldnt keep it up so it was time to move on but indeed their lack of progress has also made Intel get lazy and CPU performance has been moving so slowly is not even interesting to me right now. Reply
  • Yojimbo - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Yeah, supply corporate welfare to a poorly performing company with your consumer dollars. Sounds like an all new type of market inefficiency. Reply
  • prime2515103 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Maybe Ti should bring back National Semiconductor so they can bring back Cyrix so we can buy their CPU's so they don't go out of business again. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Didn't Cyrix merge with Centaur, and then get bought by Via?

    Technically, there are 3 x86 CPU makers: Intel, AMD, and Via.

    You just don't hear a lot about Via as they tend to create embedded/SFF builds for specific purposes, as opposed to general purpose desktops or gaming behemoths. Plus, their integrated graphics suck, and their chipset drivers are pretty much Windows-only.
    Reply
  • AS118 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    I don't know where your hostility is directed at. I've been buying 90% AMD CPU's for the past 10 years or so. Literally every computer in my house except for 1 Laptop we bought last year has been AMD. I also have been buying only AMD GPU's since I switched sides when I got the 3870 (I was Nvidia-only before then).

    There are a lot of people who are AMD loyalists (to keep competition going if nothing else), but the problem is that more people buy Intel/Vidia. The technology is often better, and the marketing definitely is.

    While I want AMD to do better, I have to say that marketing-wise at least, some of their problems are self-inflicted.
    Reply
  • at80eighty - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    pretty much. AMD needs to remain viable or nvidia becomes a lazy company like intel with no real incentive to innovate. yet this thread is swarming with the green machine angry at any mention counter to nvidia. eh. Reply
  • RussianSensation - Thursday, October 15, 2015 - link

    Exactly. Most of people claiming AMD bankruptcy and how competition doesn't drive innovation have probably never taken university level finance, accounting and economics classes. With more than $700M of cash on hand and over $300M coming in 2016, AMD is far from going bankrupt. One has to wonder how people that uneducated/lacking diverse knowledge base even get real world jobs in other fields. Reply
  • KenLuskin - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    AMD has stolen numerous top people from Nvidia. All those peopele who think that this one guy determines the future of AMD are MORONS!
    Jim Keller did indeed finish ZEN! His MO is to finish his job and then join another company. Did Apple implode after Keller left them?
    HSA has finished most of its job. Now its up to other companies to produce supporting software.
    So, Anand tech is correct!
    Nvidia needs Rogers, because they do NOT have an HSA equivalent, but they do have money to pay him.
    AMD does NOT need Rogers, because HSA is finished!

    To all MORONS, PLEASE put your money where your mouth is... take ALL your money and SHORT AMD ... OK?

    Please post your short positions, so I can track YOUR BK!
    Reply

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