AMD's Bob Feldstein leaves for Nvidia

July 24, 2012 // 12 p.m.

Tags: #amd #ati #bob-feldstein #graphics #microsoft #nintendo #nvidia #playstation-4 #sony #wii-u #xbox-720 #xbox-loop #xbox-next

AMD's vice president in charge of business development and the man believed to be responsible for AMD's successes in the console market has left the company, moving to long-time rival Nvidia.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bob Feldstein - formerly of ATI, then AMD when the latter acquired the former back in 2006 - is to be thanked for the wealth of AMD graphics hardware rumoured to be heading to next-generation games consoles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

The Wall Street Journal quotes Nvidia's Bob Sherbin as confirming the hire, which saw Feldstein's last day at AMD fall on a rather ominous Friday the 13th this month, and stating that he will 'help [Nvidia] think through current and possible future technology licensing projects.' The specifics of Feldstein's role at the company have not yet been provided, and Feldstein has yet to update his LinkedIn profile to provide a clue.

It's a major blow for AMD, which has seen several high-ranking executives depart for pastures new in recent months including graphics chief technology officer Eric Demers, chief executive Dirk Meyer and senior vice president Rick Bergman to name but a few. This departure, claimed to be on amicable terms, will hurt AMD doubly, however: unlike others, who left to join companies like Qualcomm who don't directly compete with AMD, Feldstein is going to work for AMD's bitter rival Nvidia.

What this means for the red-versus-green battle in the graphics market is, at present, unclear. Presuming that the next-generation graphics deals for AMD are signed in ink - and with Nintendo well along the way to launching its AMD-powered WiiU console, that's at least one deal signed and sealed - Nvidia won't be able to use Feldstein's contacts and knowledge to gain a foothold. There's always the next generation, however - and Nvidia's Tegra line of low-powered system-on-chip designs gives it a major selling point for embedded systems and mobile devices which Feldstein could well use against his former employer.

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