Wednesday01 February 2023

AMD Brings K7/K8 Creator, Jim Keller, Back Into the Fold

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AMD fans might have some good news for them in the next few months. It seems that one of the geniuses that helped to bring the K7 and K8 CPUs to the world, Jim Keller, is back at AMD and will be working on the next generation of CPUs and APUs. AMD (as many will remember) got themselves into trouble after they scooped up ATi for a cool $5.4 Billion dollars. This move was intended to bring AMD more in line with what Intel had (and had planned). In the end the buyout hurt both AMD and ATi putting both behind their rivals for more than a few years.

Because of this move AMD ended up having to sell of all of their FABs as well as cut staff considerably. I it were not for Intel agreeing to settle a long standing law suit there might not be an AMD as we know it today. Many choices were made because of the financial impact of the ATi purchase that resulted in AMD not being able to perform die shrinks or R&D in the way they did in the past. This troubled time also led to some lackluster CPUs which failed to really compete with Intel in any real way.

Even today we see that AMD’s CPUs lack the same brilliance that we saw with the K7 and K8 generations. They are hobbled by bad inter-core communication, poor memory and caching performance and a slew of other items. This is what AMD hopes Jim Keller will fix. He was on the team that took the DEC Alpha designs and technology and turned them into a CPU that really performed.

Keller will be working directly with AMD’s K12 ARMv8 product line and will also lend a hand to the bulldozer team to see if he can open up performance on those products. We do hope that he is able to make a difference at AMD as they sorely need someone to make some changes in the way they think about CPUs and how they operate. AMD no longer has the option of leaning on DEC and their technology thanks to a quick purchase by Intel that took them out of the picture. Still they do have some good talent there still and bringing Keller back to the team is sure to help bring some old and working ideas to AMD’s new platforms due out in 2015.

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Last modified on Friday, 27 June 2014 10:31

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