AMD has confirmed that Eric Demers, the chief technical officer of the graphics business unit formerly known as ATI, is to leave the company at the end of the week.
Demers is to be replaced in the interim by overall chief technology officer Mark Papermaster until a replacement is found, according to a statement released by AMD late last night. Demers' final day is believed to be the 17th of February.
No reason has been given for Demers' departure, except to say that he is 'to pursue other opportunities.'
Despite Demers' exit, AMD remains bullish about the future of its graphics division both as a keystone in its vision for a Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) and as a producer of dedicated silicon. 'AMD remains fully committed to our critical graphics IP development and discrete GPU products,' the company claimed in its statement.
'We have a tremendous depth of talent in our organisation, a game plan that is resonating with our customers and our team, and we are continuing to bring graphics-performance-leading products to market. We will attract the right technology leader for this role,' AMD promised.
Previous to his role of CTO at AMD's graphics division, Demers was a long-time ATI veteran. Joining the company in 2000 from previous roles at Silicon Graphics, Matrox and ArtX, Demers would rise from graphics designer to design manager under ATI's leadership. When AMD purchased the company, Demers became the manager of the graphics architecture team at the company before rising to senior architect and finally chief technology officer in 2009.
Demers' reputation is well cemented in the industry. With a MSEE in Computer Architecture and Parallel Processing and a BSEE in Electronics and Communications, his talents will be in great demand. With a graphics-specific history, including GPGPU architecture design and gaming graphics experience, there will be plenty of doors opening.
The most obvious destination for Demers would be AMD's long-time graphics rival Nvidia. It's likely, however, that AMD has a 'no-compete' clause in its contracts that would prevent Demers from working for such a direct competitor for a period of time after his exit.
At the time of writing, Demers has not revealed his employment plans.
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