Rumored in the past, a possible split inside AMD between the company’s healthier GPU business and the struggling CPU department has inevitably happened. Today AMD announces the Radeon Technologies Group that mainly comprises the old ATI staff inside the CPU company.
Struggling for the past few years against NVIDIA’s relentless advance in graphics cards technologies and worldwide superior sales, AMD is also haunted by mediocre reviews to its graphics cards and almost non-existent on the CPU market, although its APU models are being released with a much greater frequency than Intel’s.
Fighting singlehandedly against giants like Intel and NVIDIA with price undercuts and countless intermediary product versions affected AMD to the breaking point, literally.
The result is the newborn Radeon Technologies Group that basically gives a new life to the defunct ATI under a new name, but the same AMD tutelage. According to AMD’s CEO Lisa Su, “We are entering an age of immersive computing where we will be surrounded by billions of brilliant pixels that enhance our daily lives in ways we have yet to fully comprehend,” admitting this way a failure in grasping a strong market share in video solutions against NVIDIA.
This decision might, however, be a fortunate one for AMD since, as Lisa Su admits, “With the creation of the Radeon Technologies Group we are putting in place a more agile, vertically-integrated graphics organization focused on solidifying our position as the graphics industry leader, recapturing profitable share across traditional graphics markets, and staking leadership positions in new markets such as virtual and augmented reality.”
In other words, splitting the company in two will simplify decision-making inside the GPU development department, while the hierarchy department will be infinitely more simplified with key people responsible having the perfect experience and know-how to make the important decisions.
At the head of the new group will be Raja Koduri, who will be promoted to Senior VP and Chief Architect to lead the group. He will report directly to Su and will oversee all the graphics development in AMD’s graphics cards, and all APU chips that work with the company’s graphics adaptors.
Koduri really believes in this initiative, and it seems this was a move that many people inside AMD really wanted to happen. “Now, with the Radeon Technologies Group, we have a dedicated team focused on growing our business as we create a unique environment for the best and brightest minds in graphics to be a part of the team re-defining the industry,” Said Koduri.
Koduri’s past is often associated to ATI’s glory days, being considered the main architect of ATI’s successful graphics cards before being acquired by AMD in 2006.
Since then, he joined Apple in 2009 and helped developing the technology behind the “retina” display in laptops. It’s believed that, with his return to AMD in 2013, he will restart the company, and put his mark on AMD’s roadmap, with the recent Radeon Technology Group being the first in his string of radical new changes inside AMD. Now the company’s GPU division is back under his experienced supervision while AMD plays its last card in the game for its survival.
UPDATE: We've been contacted by AMD and received the following statement: "Just to be clear, we are not splitting the company. This is an internal structural shift and doesn't change things like financial segment reporting. This move should not be interpreted as a step towards creating a separate company or preparing for any sort of split. Graphics IP remains critical across our full product portfolio."