Apple reportedly adding more graphics chip experts to team

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple isn't done building its arsenal of chip designers, according to a new report, which claims the company will acquire the services of yet another expert who's enjoyed a long and successful tenure with the ATI/AMD camp.



Citing sources close to Apple, the Inquirer is reporting that one of AMD's chief technology officers, Raja Koduri, will follow in the footsteps of colleague Bob Drebin, who's since joined the iPhone maker. The publication characterizes the chip expert as a visionary, stating that "anything he puts his mind to is going to be interesting, count on that."



Koduri began his professional career at S3 Graphics, where he spent four years as a director and engineering manager. In 2001, he made his way to ATI as Director of Advanced Technology Development and emerged as one of the leading designers of discrete graphics processors. With AMD's purchase of ATI in 2006, he assumed the title of chief technology officer of the firm's Graphics Product Group.



Word of Koduri's plans to join Apple comes just days after Drebin was reported to have accepted a Senior Director position at the Cupertino-based electronics maker. Like Koduri, he also once held the title of CTO of AMD's Graphics Product Group before departing a year ago to pursue unknown or personal interests.



Precisely where Koduri and Drebin fit into Apple's strategy remains unclear, though their vast knowledge of discrete graphics and chips for video game consoles are likely to play key roles in shaping the future of the company's Mac and iPhone product families.



Apple has been building a brigade of expert chip designers for more than a year now, spearheaded by its acquisition of the 150-person fabless chip design firm P.A. Semi for $278 million last April.



As AppleInsider has pointed out in several reports since then, it's widely believed that Apple is structuring a team capable of crafting a family of proprietary system-on-a-chip (SOC) designs that will provide the company with a sizable advantage over the broader market because, unlike the SoCs found in the existing iPhone and iPod touch, the new designs won't be accessible to competitors.



Mark Papermaster, the executive Apple poached from IBM last year to succeed Tony Fadell in leading the company's iPod and iPhone engineering teams, is also an chip specialist. Following a widely publicized court battle over the matter, Papermaster was ultimately cleared to assume his new role at Apple. He began last week.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    imagine how awesome it would be to be able to play cod4 on the can with a thin tablet or netbook
  • Reply 2 of 36
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    Behold the Beast looms.





    Apple's assembling an All Star team of graphics talent. If you look at their investment in technology and talent it's clear they realize the future is not desktop/laptop but the freaking do everything tricorder Star Trek "phaser on stun" portable device we've all seen in the geek movies.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iStink View Post


    imagine how awesome it would be to be able to play cod4 on the can with a thin tablet or netbook



    Your username takes on new meaning.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iStink View Post


    imagine how awesome it would be to be able to play cod4 on the can with a thin tablet or netbook



    http://www.euslinger.de/Funstuff/itoilet.htm



    A Kindle-sized tablet. Surf on the sofa, watch a video at the kitchen counter, GPS in the car, read a book on the porch, watch 30 Rock in the tub. Video chat. Google Voice calls...



    Work use: it could replace a lot of bulky laptops in cop cars and ambulances. Plenty of conventional road warriors would prefer it to a laptop. Not everyone, but enough to build it. Medical staff. You might see retailers imitating Apple's on the spot POS system too.



    The tablet form factor definitely has it's drawbacks. BUT - for home use I think it would be great. Toss it on the sofa like you would a phone. Maybe not quite like a phone, but not the way you have to be careful with a laptop.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Behold the Beast looms.





    Apple's assembling an All Star team of graphics talent. If you look at their investment in technology and talent it's clear they realize the future is not desktop/laptop but the freaking do everything tricorder Star Trek "phaser on stun" portable device we've all seen in the geek movies.



    Apple is an exciting place to be and as such they can attract the best and brightest.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    "an chip specialist."!?

    Please stop, Katie.

    Beyond that ear grating bit, a very interesting article.

    Can't wait to see what Apple will do.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Apple is an exciting place to be and as such they can attract the best and brightest.



    Besides innovative new work, it seems Apple may also be addressing some of their graphics deficiencies on the desktop side and reliability issues they have had with graphics cards.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    http://www.euslinger.de/Funstuff/itoilet.htm



    A Kindle-sized tablet. Surf on the sofa, watch a video at the kitchen counter, GPS in the car, read a book on the porch, watch 30 Rock in the tub. Video chat. Google Voice calls...



    Work use: it could replace a lot of bulky laptops in cop cars and ambulances. Plenty of conventional road warriors would prefer it to a laptop. Not everyone, but enough to build it. Medical staff. You might see retailers imitating Apple's on the spot POS system too.



    The tablet form factor definitely has it's drawbacks. BUT - for home use I think it would be great. Toss it on the sofa like you would a phone. Maybe not quite like a phone, but not the way you have to be careful with a laptop.



    Sounds cool and with the newly expanded options for the doc connector you can easily plug in a 10 pound battery to get you through the day.



    Seriously though - a major breakthrough in battery technology would be very helpful - not only in the small lightweight portable arena but also in larger products such as electric vehicles - talking about a battery that has many times the energy density of products on the market today with a fraction of the recharge time at the same cost to produce. something along these lines - http://www.businessgreen.com/busines...harges-battery - if they can get it to work (as in not just a lab demo - but a full scale industrial production line and cost effective consumer products).
  • Reply 9 of 36
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    The features of a device like iPhone, Mac have more to do with Apple proprietary software. The generic hardware makes it easy for Chinese copycats to crank iPhone with minimal investment. Will proprietary hardware, especially graphics chips keep illegal clones? May be make it more expensive.



    Legitimate competitors like Google and its value chain will always get access to chips with competitive performance. History has shown that the best performance to price is obtained with chips that have huge economies of scale, profits that help fund continuing improvements. That is what benefited PC and Windows using the Intel/AMD, etc chips. Apple was forced to give low volume Motorola and IBM PPC chips since they did not have the volume to fund R&D and pricing. Compatibility issues also played a role.



    Even IBM gave up the vertically integrated software+hardware model for many products... though not all.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    0sx0sx Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iStink View Post


    imagine how awesome it would be to be able to play cod4 on the can with a thin tablet or netbook



    imagine how awesome it would be if apple could fix the ati graphics glitches in their imacs.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 0SX View Post


    imagine how awesome it would be if apple could fix the ati graphics glitches in their imacs.



    are you speaking of the recent 4850 glitches?
  • Reply 12 of 36
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    The features of a device like iPhone, Mac have more to do with Apple proprietary software. The generic hardware makes it easy for Chinese copycats to crank iPhone with minimal investment. Will proprietary hardware, especially graphics chips keep illegal clones? May be make it more expensive.



    This is the plan exactly, by using custom chips Apple can ensure that no cloner can ever completely match the performance.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    ... Legitimate competitors like Google and its value chain will always get access to chips with competitive performance. History has shown that the best performance to price is obtained with chips that have huge economies of scale, profits that help fund continuing improvements.



    This is not necessarily true. Huge economies of scale do fund most chip development, but that doesn't always mess with the performance/price ratio AFAIK.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    ... Even IBM gave up the vertically integrated software+hardware model for many products... though not all.



    Vertically integrated products work in some markets and for some products but not for others. You are using to big of a brush here in painting your picture. All evidence today seems to indicate that for computers in general, and specifically for mobile devices, that the vertical products are the best way to go.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    History has shown that the best performance to price is obtained with chips that have huge economies of scale, profits that help fund continuing improvements.



    ...





    Even IBM gave up the vertically integrated software+hardware model for many products... though not all.



    It appears that Apple has the willingness to spend a lot for video chip R & D, but it is indeed

    a question whether they will order enough of these custom chips from their semiconductor

    fabricating vendors to get a price that is competitive with commodity chips. I hope the fabs

    value Apple's business enough to make favorable deals, because I think the vertically integrated

    model will produce the best products.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    I expect Apple to design a cadre of chips that will power mobile and small computing devices.



    Apple already uses a Marvell chip (ARM licensee) for the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule.



    ARM chips of course power the iPhone/iPod Touch



    I expect that faster ARM based chips will power a tablet computing device and eventually

    a storage array that Apple will have to create.



    Some of these chips will have no need for graphics and others will have to offer a GPU built in tailored towards Apple's specific needs.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iStink View Post


    imagine how awesome it would be to be able to play cod4 on the can with a thin tablet or netbook



    Pee-uw!
  • Reply 16 of 36
    I'm surprised nobody speculated about what this may mean for gaming on the Mac.



    Does this mean that Apple is poised for a renewed Mac gaming push?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    I'm surprised nobody speculated about what this may mean for gaming on the Mac.



    Does this mean that Apple is poised for a renewed Mac gaming push?



    Especially on the AppleTV ala Wii with an iPod touch doing the motions.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,273member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    I'm surprised nobody speculated about what this may mean for gaming on the Mac.



    Does this mean that Apple is poised for a renewed Mac gaming push?



    Yes ..but Apple will wisely leave the expense and effort to third party developers. I think mobile gaming is what they will entrench themselves with.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Especially on the AppleTV ala Wii with an iPod touch doing the motions.



    It doesn't make sense for Apple to require you to plunk down at least $230 for a glorified WiiMote. The real WiiMote costs about $40. Presumably, Apple would need to manufacture a gutted iPod touch without storage and much less processing power but with the accelerometer.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    It doesn't make sense for Apple to require you to plunk down at least $230 for a glorified WiiMote. The real WiiMote costs about $40. Presumably, Apple would need to manufacture a gutted iPod touch without storage and much less processing power but with the accelerometer.



    Yes it does- Apple required me to plunk that down to get full functionality from a remote out of my Apple TV as it is right now.
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