If there’s one constant in the tech industry, it’s change. Well-rounded and highly sought after executives come and go, either moving from between tech firms or departing the industry altogether to pursue other interests (ahem, Steve Ballmer). Even tech companies themselves go through a metamorphosis of sorts, as we’ve seen a once powerhouse in the graphics industry, 3Dfx, become swallowed up by its fiercest rival, NVIDIA. Chipmaker AMD would later go on to acquire ATI — a pairing at the time that seemed a bit odd to many industry observers.
AMD has once again come to a crossroads with respect to its graphics division, and instead of throwing in the towel in the face of stiff competition from NVIDIA, the company is doubling down. And to do so, the company is forming the Radeon Technologies Group to better focus on advancing “immersive computing” across its vast graphics portfolio that spans APUs, discrete GPUs, and semi-custom GPUs, and GPU compute products.
Heading up the Radeon Technologies Group is a man that is no stranger to pushing the boundaries with regards to graphics performance and visual computing. AMD’s Raja Koduri is taking the helm as senior vice president and chief architect of the Radeon Technologies Group and will report directly to CEO Lisa Su.
“AMD is well positioned to lead this transition with graphics IP that is powering the best gaming and visual computing experiences today,” said Su. “With the creation of the Radeon Technologies Group we are putting in place a more agile, vertically-integrated graphics organization focused on solidifying our position as the graphics industry leader, recapturing profitable share across traditional graphics markets, and staking leadership positions in new markets such as virtual and augmented reality.”
Koduri was the brains behind the Radeon R9 Nano and was instrumental in working with Microsoft to get Mantle-esque technology baked into DirectX 12. And look no further than to AMD’s dramatic gains going from DX11 to DX12 as opposed to NVIDIA’s more meager gains in certain benchmarks as a testament to the company’s commitment to getting a performance edge by any means necessary.
Koduri has spent over 20 years in the graphics business, working both at ATI and AMD, rising to the rank of AMD’s Chief Technology Officer of the Graphics Products Group. However, he took a detour to work at Apple in 2009, before “returning home” to AMD four years later in April 2013 as the Corporate Vice President of Visual Computing. During his second coming at AMD, Koduri has been responsible for heading the development of High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which his used in the company’s Fiji products along with AMD’s LiquidVR initiative.
We can’t wait to see where AMD graphics technology goes from here under the leadership of Koduri. If HBM is just a sampling of what AMD can do when it’s firing on all cylinders, we’re hoping that Koduri’s ascent is the equivalent of strapping on a turbocharger to the company’s graphics efforts.