Business, Hardware

Donald Newell: Ex-Intel Guy Hired as a New CTO at AMD


2011 will be a key year for AMD in many segments: the company is finally launching Fusion, architecture that was supposed to debut in 2009. AMD will also launch Bulldozer, even though the part is slipping again, from 1H 2011 into 2H 2011. Last week, IDC reported AMD’s server share dropped from 10.1 to only 6.5%, sheer evidence what Intel’s 45nm Nehalem and 32nm Westmere architectures did to AMD’s line-up.

AMD is obviously aware of what needs to be done, as recent internal shuffles reveal: the company silently moved some of the key people from ATI, the GPU division to the Fusion group and now, AMD poached Donald Newell to lead their Server group, one market where Bulldozer architecture has to excel. Donald previously served as Senior Principle Engineer in Intel’s SoC and Datacenter Network Architecture groups, as well as leading the prestigious Intel Labs. If there is one division in Intel that executes like clockwork, that unit is Intel Labs. Thus, AMD could not hire a better guy. According to the press release, Donald is "a distinguished engineer with more than 20 patents filed."

His role in AMD is very simple – "to lead the server roadmap and platform design programs." Translation into plain English is quite simple: "to execute". AMD is notorious for its failing to follow its own roadmaps, as often financial analysts and journalists find themselves in situation where AMD’s executive staff is saying that some part is "ahead of the roadmap," while the reality is that the part is 1-2-3 quarters late from its first appearance on the official roadmap.

His official roles are Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, reporting to Rick Bergman.