Apple's A4 and A5 chip designer Jim Keller leaves for AMD

Apple's A4 and A5 chip designer Jim Keller leaves for AMD
Jim Keller, who joined Apple when it acquired P.A. Semi, and has been tasked with the developing the A4 and A5 processors that are in the current iPhones and iPads, is leaving the comfy confines of Cupertino for AMD.

He has actually worked for AMD before, when the company infused some Intel scare with the Athlon and Opteron families of processors. After stints at Broadcom, P.A. Semi and Apple, he is now back to the mothership.

Good news for AMD, which is not in the greatest of shapes lately, but Jim Keller is certain to apply what he was doing at Apple - optimizing the heck of processor cores for low power consumption, something that the ARM architecture is very good at.

source: AllThingsD



1. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Before fandroids arrive and flame: the man didn't leave cause AMD was doing better, he did cause they offered him a good deal. He did great work for Apple and i would like to thank him for that. I'm looking orward ti the A6 with crazy graphics power. Maybe even a quad-core CPU, but iOS is allready smooth as buttet for many years without.

3. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

you already know they're coming... haha

5. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

No, he just turned troll mode on. ;)

4. wendygarett unregistered

i don't have intention to flame but... He do has done a good job, but unfortunately he doesn't get a good treatment from a patent troll trillionaire like Apple.

11. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It might be a stretch to say he wasn't receiving good treatment from Apple. Some people decide to move on simply for a change of scenery and/or a new challenge. Many of the original iPhone's design team moved over to the Palm Pre for this reason.

18. JessJess unregistered

I don't see anything in this article about him being treated poorly by Apple. Can you please explain?

20. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Sorry, JessJess, actually i wanted to give you a thumb up.

21. JessJess unregistered

No problem.

24. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Android fans' main weapon when they have no arguments is mass thumbing down. Tired of constant flame too?

28. wendygarett unregistered

I'm sorry to use such a strong word... But his intention to go AMD reminds me that he might treated poorly in Apple...

30. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012 ad-apple-employ-more-us-workers "In the case of Apple, outsourcing manufacturing is not about keeping costs to customers down – they are still paying huge prices for the latest handset or tablet computer. Nor is it about the company's survival: it would still do tremendously well were it to bring those factories back home. No, in the case of Apple, moving jobs offshore has become a way of directing ever more money to those at the top of American society. This is not just my conclusion, or that of the Cresc team; it is backed up by the Asian Development Bank. In a 2010 study of an earlier model of the iPhone, ADB researchers concluded: "It is the profit maximisation behaviour of Apple rather than competition that pushes Apple to have all iPhones assembled in the PRC." "has had repeated troubles with its workforce, including at least 18 suicide attempts by workers in 2010 alone. After that, and the terrible publicity that followed, Apple put pressure on its subcontractor to raise workers' pay and improve conditions. But it didn't take the most obvious route of doing so, which would be: pay more to Foxconn,"

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

partially incorrect. He wasnt hired on directly by apple. He was acquired when Apple bought the chip company that held the designs to what became the A4/ Hummingbird and A5/Exynos base chips. He didnt "design" anything while he was at apple as far as that goes, those were the reason the company was bought. I'm sure he had a hand in making them while at the chip company, so I'm not taking credit away, just correcting misinformation in the story. That said, Im happy to see him return to AMD. The Athalon days were their "glory days", and they need some good talent to get back to those days... and to be able to compete with Intel who is now back to pure dominance in the PC market. That also makes me wonder if AMD is looking to get serious about mobile computing. It would surprise me if they werent, and rehiring someone that brought them good times AND had hands in making the best sister chips on the market today (A5/Exynos) is a great boon to those efforts.

13. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

Why is it relevant that he was acquired? Either way, he was an Apple employee. Also, if he was apart of the design team then he is a designer no? Helping further the development and design after being purchased by Apple would make him a designer for the A4 processor right? Why do you always attempt to turn an normal article about Apple into something negative? You go on and on about Taco and Gallo but seriously dude, you need to reflect on yourself bro. The article was not full of misinformation? Not! You are just reading too much into it and looking for a way to satisfy your Apple obsession.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what the heck are you talking about. maybe you should reread what I said eh? I didnt "turn anything negative".. in fact, I gave him credit for original design work while at the other company, AND for his work at AMD and how happy I was that he is going back to help them out. when apple bought Intrinsic which is the parent company that owned the designs that HE made/help make, that was pretty much it. Since then, the Hummingbird/exynos and the A4/A5 have been 100% identical except their choices of GPU. He is NOT helping develop the Exynos. Therefore, there hasnt been much if any real work going into the chips since purchase of intrinsic. That was my point. MAYBE he/they are redesigning the chip for the A6, but there is still no proof that its anything more than a rebadged Exynos 4212 with different GPU. If you want to follow down that rabbit hole, that would mean Samsung is more responsible for the advances in the line since the buy out than Apple is far. But I didnt even go down that route trying to keep any cries of "fanboy" out of the equation. In fact there was nothing fanboy about the OP at all. It was merely correcting a bit of misinformation in the piece, just like it was stated. I've corrected things that make Apple have a more positive spin as well. A fact is a fact regardless of the "light" it puts someone in. Maybe its not what I'm writing, but your perception of it? hmm.

27. greathero1

Posts: 584; Member since: Jun 13, 2008

Nope. I think my perception is okay. Maybe if I didn't read the comment section of this site on a regular basis. I guess we can agree to disagree. At least we didn't resort to name calling which has been really widespread on here these days. :)

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its OK to resort to name calling when talking to/about taco. Its in the ToS.. I saw it. :)

14. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

It would be great if AMD could reinvent itself in the mobile space. Competition is a good thing.

26. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I'm hoping they were just kidding when they said they werent entering the space. Even if they dont go directly for mobile phones, the space is such a growth vector that there is room for many companies in many uses. And yea, they need to be here to keep Intel's prices in check. We all know intel likes to charge mega bux for their chips.

7. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

why are you so defensive already. you need not defend apple. There spending millions defending themselves in court lol lol lol

15. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

I find it strange that you felt it necessary to post this, oh great master of the plainly obvious.

19. Jasonhunterx

Posts: 111; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

What is there to flame about....are you afraid?

2. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Samsung also did great work for Apple's A4 SoC. :)

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the base design was liscenced by another company.. the company that this gent worked for before Apple bought them. Samsung has made tweaks and mods to the chips, but the base designs were not theirs. Apple bought them in hopes of being the only one with the tech. Guess they forgot that licencing contracts are still valid even after a company is sold. lol.

10. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Yes, I know. Here is some info who wnats to read: Apple A4: Samsung, Intrinsity pump ARM to GHz rate:

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thanks, im feeling too lazy today to find links to post. :)

8. RapidCat

Posts: 351; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

apple try to leave samsung and join amd

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I wonder if Apple is going to be litigating with AMD over hiring one of their (Apple's) designers?

17. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

Maybe soon we will se how Apple sue AMD because ostensibly Jim Keller stole Apple's ideas and sold them to AMD...

22. Cyan3boN

Posts: 446; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

u thought x86 aint enough, AMD is fusing both x86 and ARM in a power packed package to bring the best of both worlds "power efficiency" and "performance", something which intel never thought of.

23. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

*yawn*... wake me up when you have an actual _product_ to talk about. Until then this is wishes and speculation.

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