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August 17, 2005

AMD lures IBM veteran to lead chip design

Advanced Micro Devices Inc yesterday said it had hired Jeff VerHeul away from IBM to lead the direction of AMD's future silicon design.

By CBR Staff Writer

VerHeul’s most recent post during his 25-year stint at IBM was head of engineering and technology services.

Now, he will lead the development of all future AMD computing products, including silicon roadmaps design across all AMD’s engineering sites worldwide.

Jeff brings a wealth of experience in managing large, complex design activities at both the chip and systems level, said Dirk Meyer, COO of AMD’s microprocessor division, in a statement.

However, AMD declined to name or provide any details on who VerHeul replaces, beyond that VerHeul’s predecessor remains at AMD but in a different role. AMD spokesperson Robert Keosheyan said this secrecy is primarily on AMD’s behalf, rather than the individual involved. These are some of our most important people, Keosheyan said. They are so important and valuable that they are a competitive advantage.

The company chose to publicize VerHeul’s appointment because of the strength of his background, he said.

VerHeul is expected to boost AMD’s capacity to sell its 64-bit microprocessor technology, which has helped it better compete against chief rival Intel Corp, to a broader range of markets and customers worldwide.

AMD has changed the competitive landscape by delivering superior products and technology solutions that are focused on the specific needs of our customers, VerHeul said, in a statement.

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VerHeul was hired directly from IBM, Keosheyan said.

However, Keosheyan declined to confirm reports earlier this week that AMD and IBM had extended and broadened their technology development ties through 2011. In late 2002, the pair signed a research pact, which later was extended through 2008, during which time the company would work together on developing 32-nanometer production technology. Rumor has it the companies would now work beyond 32-nm processes and into 22-nm, among other technologies.

Keosheyan said he was bound by US Securities and Exchange regulations to provide any detail on the companies’ agreements, except to reiterate that no announcement had been made.

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