PhysX founder to lead AMD's Fusion Program

AMD has just officially confirmed yesterday's reports about nabbing Ageia founder Manju Hegde from Nvidia. However, it looks as though Hegde is going to have very little to do with hardware-accelerated gaming physics after all.

As our sources indicated yesterday, Hegde has indeed joined AMD at the vice president level, but he's now heading up AMD's Fusion Experience Program[me], rather than working specifically on physics gaming features.

The Fusion Experience Programme has the specific role of finding out which software can take advantage of GPGPU acceleration in Fusion CPUs, as well as working out how to implement it.

AMD is making a big push to take advantage of its unique position in the market, which is that it's the only company with an x86 licence and strong GPU technology.

With his wealth of experience of working with Nvidia's CUDA technology, it looks like AMD wants to make sure that it can capitalise on the potential of its forthcoming Fusion processors, which combine multi-core x86 CPUs with GPU features.

After all, Fusion isn't just about integrating 3D features into a CPU; it's also about exploiting the parallel capabilities of the integrated GPU. Fusion will effectively give AMD a powerful, parallel co-processor in addition to the standard x86 cores.

This could give AMD's Fusion CPUs a serious edge over Intel's when it comes to highly-parallel processing, making them potentially much quicker in video transcoding apps, and anything else that can take advantage of GPGPU computing.

The only disadvantage that AMD has at the moment is that its Stream technology hasn't taken off, and Nvidia's CUDA technology has so far dominated GPGPU computing. However, with the introduction of standards such as Direct Compute and Open CL, AMD could have a good chance of making a killer product with people such as Hegde on board.

Hegde will report to AMD's senior vice president and general manager of its products group, Rick Bergman, who says he's, "thrilled to be able to attract an experienced industry leader like Manju Hegde to the AMD team." Bergman claimed that the recruitment was "a sign of the quality of talent we are able to attract to AMD on the strength of our Fusion roadmap."

He also added further press for Hegde, saying that "Manju brings prized expertise in developing the ecosystem for enabling breakthrough and heightened experiences on new architectures to AMD.

"As Manju and his team work with the ecosystem to usher in a new era of visual computing, we expect a wide range of industry leaders to embrace the future of accelerated computing through the combination of the GPU and CPU - a combination only AMD can deliver with its AMD Fusion technology," he enthused.