Word out Wednesday is that chipmaker AMD (NYSE:AMD) has hired Jim Keller, former executive at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), to head up its processor group and work on re-designing the company’s processors, as the company has lost major market share to rival Intel (NYSE:INTC) and has virtually no presence in the exploding table market.
Keller just might be the right guy for this job. After all, he was part of the team that designed the processors for the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. His role as corporate vice president for AMD will be to bring the inovation from his work at Apple and use it to revitalize the company’s microprocessors and design them so they can be viable and affordable options to Intel’s family of chips, which have begun to dominate the maket.
But Keller is not a new face to AMD, and Apple is not unfamiliar territory for AMD execs. Keller was previously part of AMD’s chip design team that created the Athlon 64 and Opteron 64 processors, and Keller will report to Mark Papermaster, another former Apple executive who left when complaints and technical issues arose over iPhone 4’s reception and antenna power.
AMD has taken a different tack in its company over the last year, including developing customizable chips for third party integration and recently announced it would start to break away from x86 processors, of which AMD has been hemorrhaging market share to Intel as it is. Plus, x86 processors have not done well in the emerging tablet world, so the company has been wise to shirk that part and start anew, and it has announced some new chips and CPU processor cores, though the Bulldozer has not done well, and it is trying to make headway with its PC core called Piledriver.
With Keller’s experience in PowerPC, x86, MIPS, Alpha and ARM processors, AMD just might be in a position to dramatically re-make itself and become a viable option once again in the processor universe.