AMD has created a separate division for its graphics card business in an effort to recapture “profitable share” in traditional sectors such as desktops and laptops, as well as “emerging markets such as virtual and augmented reality”. Raja Koduri – who joined AMD from Apple where he was director of graphics architecture – will lead the new Radeon Technologies Group.
AMD hopes that by splitting off the graphics unit, which was formerly known as ATI before AMD bought it in 2006, it will be more “agile”, harking back to its independent past. While the merger of ATI and AMD has resulted in some excellent products over the years, including some of the later APUs and the recent Fury range of graphics cards, the integration of the two companies has proved difficult. What this new Radeon group means for the company’s APUs, which combine a CPU and GPU on a single die, remains to be seen.
While AMD has had some success partnering with PlayStation and Xbox for the current generation of consoles, it has struggled to compete with Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs, both of which have dominated their respective segments of the desktop market in recent years. Last year, AMD laid off seven percent of its global workforce, accounting for about 700 jobs, while its CMO, CSO and general manager of its computer and graphics business group resigned at the beginning of the year.
AMD’s most recent first-quarter financial report showed a net loss of $180 million (£116 million), while revenue fell 17 percent quarter-on-quarter. At the time, CEO Lisa Su blamed a “weaker-than-expected market environment” for graphics cards.