AMD has hired former MIPS CTO Mike Uhler to spearhead efforts around co-processors.
The chip maker today announced the Uhler grab, heralding the fella as AMD's first ever VP of Accelerated Computing. Uhler will be charged with overseeing products such as graphics chips and other types of co-processors that can function as complements to general purpose CPUs.
Those of you in the server game know that these types of accelerators have become all the rage as high performance computing customers look to gain massive speed-ups with certain types of software.
"Customers are asking for design innovations that apply hardware and software more directly toward a set of workloads, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach," said AMD SVP Phil Hester. "Mike furthers AMD's design leadership by applying that philosophy to our Accelerated Computing vision and I welcome him aboard."
Uhler spent a number of years at MIPS and worked at DEC before that. As a result, he has seen the server industry's infatuation with co-processors come and go and come again.
AMD has been charging the accelerator market from a couple of different fronts.
On one side, you have third parties crafting accelerators for Opteron-based servers that plug into either Opteron sockets or HTX (hypertransport) slots. Thus far, these devices have been things such as FPGAs or floating point cards that speed up certain software routines.
Beyond that, you see AMD working the technology it bought with ATI into accelerator form. So called, GPGPUs or general purpose GPUs perform in much the same way as the gear mentioned above to speed up jobs not handled as well by general purpose x86 chips.
We've got a tubby rundown on the accelerator scene here. ®