AMD has appointed a brand new corporate VP, Nazar Zaidi, in order to head future development associated with CPUs, SoCs, and techniques engineering. While Zaidi isn’t being billed like a direct replacement for Rick Keller, AMD’s former PROCESSOR architect, his position appears to blend both engineering as well as long-term product focus as well as development. Keller left the organization last summer after finishing the Zen design; the CPU design team may be headed by Chief Technologies Officer (CTO) Mark Papermaster throughout the interim period.
Nazar Zaidi was previously a VP of architectural at Broadcom and done that company’s custom ARMv8 processor chip, dubbed Project Vulcan. That project appears to possess quietly come to a finish after Broadcom was acquired by Avago last year - at the minimum, there’s been no significant news for pretty much a year. Prior to employed by Broadcom, he was the VP associated with engineering for NetLogic and oversaw development from the XLP980, a high-end social networking and communications processor (NetLogic had been acquired by Broadcom).
Jump to the 1990s, and Zaidi led development of several facets of the original Itanium, such as its bus architecture as well as hardware compatibility implementation. The performance of stated hardware implementation was considered poor at that time. I’ve never seen a failure of why Merced’s x86 overall performance was so awful, however the chip suffered numerous delays as well as development issues. To some within the CPU community, working on Itanium might be described as a negative rather than a strength - I believe such a viewpoint is quite premature.
With that stated, I think it will be a mistake to paper within the scope of the problem facing both Zaidi as well as AMD itself. Even if Zen delivers on all AMD’s promises, the new CPU core isn’t likely to close the gap between AMD and it is rival, Intel, in just one bound. APU hardware still must be brought to market, AMD will have to decide when and if it really wants to develop technologies like HBM2 for that desktop and laptop room, and the PC marketplace remains soft.
Lisa Su has organized plans for AMD in order to regain ground in server and mobile in an effort to offset declining PC income. While the PC market in general may be declining, any kind of win that AMD may eke out that raises its overall market reveal can still drive much better revenue and improve items. Even if Zen is a good CPU, it’s the first in what must be a fundamental series of services that give AMD what it requires to reposition itself. To place this somewhat differently: What AMD needs related to Zen is analogous as to the it did with the actual K7 - except it’s likely to be launching this part right into a much tougher market along with PC sales slumping and also the performance gap between by itself and Intel currently bigger than it was during the actual K6 / P2 period.
That’s going to end up being difficult - here’s wishing Nazar Zaidi is as much as the challenge.