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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  • Ultracrusher - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Man i have so much to say about this...being a computer hardware nerd for 25 years and building over 3000 personal computers. I hate this change. hear me out... first off Intel needs AMD and visa versus. without AMD being a power horse in the cpu business Intel has no reason to do any price fluctuations. that means the next get processors may not decrease the price of the current generation like in years past. 2nd thing is amd is so close to chapter 11 just look at there stock, enough said. I would like to see amd get purchased by nvidia just for the purpose of keeping the intel prices at bay. so what do you think
  • Mark_gb - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    AMD and Nvidia already have a cross-licensing agreement covering most graphics patents.
  • JoeMonco - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    Sure, which is why if they wanted to BUY the patents they can jist wait for the inevitable bankruptcy of AMD and buy them for pennies on the dollar.
  • anubis44 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    It's not going to happen, because AMD has over 40 years of silicon valley patents, an x86 license, AMD64 technology, and the entire Radeon Graphics division worth as much as nVidia alone (currently $12 billion market cap).

    Waiting for AMD's bankruptcy? You might as well wait for the second coming of Christ. People have been seeing AMD's imminent bankruptcy for over 40 years, and they're still waiting.
  • anubis44 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - link

    You mean from Microsoft, Qualcomm or Apple, when one of them buys AMD? Keep dreaming.
  • Mark_gb - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    That will never happen. There MUST be competition.
  • 5150Joker - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Sounds to me like this article is more damage control for AMD than anything else by the way it's worded. You made it sound like this is some natural transition for both Jim Keller and Phil Rogers with them wrapping their work up and moving on. A fellow just doesn't wrap up his work after 21 years and jump to his companies arch rival, when something huge like this happens, it means there's a very dark cloud looming over AMD's future. But hey, at least they can still afford to pay their ineffectual PR + CEO.
  • JoeMonco - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    Yep, AMD's in the throes of a death spiral.
  • RussianSensation - Thursday, October 15, 2015 - link

    Heard about AMD going bankrupt for 10 years now, let's keep going. Based on Q3 earnings, it's clear they will have enough cash to survive in 2016 as well. By that point 16nm GPUs will come online, Zen is getting closer (Q4 2016/Q1 2017), they will most likely start getting $1B of extra revenue from two custom design wins they announced before (Nintendo NX). The financial arm chair experts at AT have been wrong for 10 years in a row but every quarter we read about DOOM and how AMD is going bankrupt/death spiral any quarter now. Funny part is not a single one of you has the balls to put your money where your mouth is. Anyone who is confident in their predictions is buying puts or shorting the stock all the way to the bank. Most is just empty talk from people who would love nothing more than an Intel/NV monopoly.

    2 executives leave and the company is going to be bankrupt? The most insane thing I've read in a long time considering that the same people have touted how no 1-2 people can ever do enough to turn AMD around but if 1-2 people leave, AMD is dead? You guys need to stop taking your meds.
  • Yojimbo - Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - link

    I agree. Two of their top technology officers leaving is definitely bad news for AMD. It's a brain drain.

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