There's no denying that AMD is in the process of renewing its engineering team. After the new management settled in place, the focus shifted towards its weakened engineering. Over the past couple of years, the company lost an insurmountable amount of talent, including the majority of CPU and GPU architects.
The fightback, as our senior ranked AMD source told us - started with the arrival of Jim Keller from Apple. The naming caught our Intel sources off-guard, who openly admitted that Jim Keller is one of the very best, if not the best CPU architect in the world. Today's announcement presents a surprise as well, as AMD announced that John Gustafson joined the company as the Senior Fellow and Chief Product Architect for Graphics Business Unit.
He is mostly known as a tireless researcher behind the Gustafson's Law, which countered the Amdahl's Law:
"Gustafson-Barsis' Law is a law in computer science which says that computations involving arbitrarily large data sets can be efficiently parallelized. 1988 Gustafson's Law provides a counterpoint to Amdahl's law from 1970s, which describes a limit on the speed-up that parallelization can provide, given a fixed data set size.
S(P) = P - α x (P - 1)
where P is the number of processors, S is the speedup, and the non-parallelizable fraction of any parallel process"
Given his former role in Intel, where he served as a Senior Architect at Intel Labs and worked on off-roadmap technologies, as well as being an instrument to win the DARPA HPCS contracts for both Intel and Massively Parallel Technologies, Inc., where he serves as member on its Board of Directors.
Following this announcement, there's no doubt that AMD finally answered NVIDIA's decision to hire Bill Daly from Stanford University. Gustafson's experience in massively parallel architectures will serve as the driving force behind the future generations of AMD Radeon and FirePro product lines. One of his jobs also will be to evangelize the graphics leadership both internally and externally.
No doubt about it, future generations of AMD GPUs will increasingly become compute oriented.