AMD headhunts Intel server talent

AMD is continuing its strategy of nabbing top talent from its arch rivals to help out with the move to Fusion.

Shortly after poaching Nvidia's PhysX vice president Manju Hedge, AMD has now pinched Intel's senior principal engineer Donald Newell to head up its server division.

After 16 years at Intel, Newell now has the job title of chief technology officer (CTO) of AMD's international server team. According to AMD, this means he's responsible for the "concept and definition" of AMD's long-term server roadmap.

Reporting to AMD's vice president and general manager, Rick Bergman, Newell will now be tasked with heading up various teams around the world, as well as working with AMD's R&D chaps to "ensure successful transition of programs from design to market availability."

Newell's move is intentionally timely for AMD, as the company plans to move its various processor line-ups over to its new Fusion architecture, featuring modular components, including an integrated GPU. As well as desktop and mobile processors, this includes AMD's Opteron chips.

Nvidia has already demonstrated the potential for GPU-based servers with its Tesla clusters, and with the right software AMD's future Opteron chips could provide servers with GPU acceleration as well as a multi-core CPU architecture.

"We're fortunate to have Don on board as we prepare for the delivery of the 'Bulldozer' core in our AMD Opteron processors," concurred Bergman, adding that the new server chips are currently scheduled for launch next year.

Newell has some serious credentials behind him, including being published in over 60 peer-reviewed research journals and publications. AMD describes Newell as a "distinguished engineer," pointing out that he has personally filed more than 20 patents.

According to AMD, Newell was responsible for getting the PC business' first digital TV receiver out the doors. While he was at Intel, Newell was a senior principle engineer at Intel Labs, where he was in charge of the data centre networking and system-on-chip (SoC) architecture groups.