updated 04:30 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012
AMD exec to kickstart Qualcomm Adreno graphics
AMD's recently departed graphics CTO Eric Demers is now thought to have jumped ship for Qualcomm. An insider connection talking to The Inquirer said the graphics expert had made the hop "under good terms," but partly in the view that Qualcomm wasn't seen as a direct competitor. Intel and NVIDIA may have tried to poach him in the past.
Demers' near-term work wasn't mentioned, although it's presumed he would be driving efforts to boost Qualcomm's Adreno graphics. The Snapdragon's graphics have commonly been their weak point relative to the fast PowerVR video in Apple's A5 or TI's OMAP4 mobile chips, as well as ARM's own Mali-400 video in Samsung's Exynos processors. Demers had been with AMD's graphics division since the pre-takeover ATI days and is known for having been instrumental to the legendary Radeon 9700 graphics core from 2002.
AMD itself isn't believed to be immediately worried. Beyond public reassurances, it's thought to have internal replacements in mind. Overall CTO Mark Papermaster may help by creating a halo effect that attracts outside options.
Neither Demers nor Qualcomm has confirmed the new job. The ex-CTO's profile on LinkedIn now reflects that he has left AMD, but doesn't show a new position.