Ex-Nvidia CUDA, PhysX Guru Joins AMD to Promote Heterogeneous Multi-Core Chips

Former Head of Ageia Joins AMD to Lead Fusion Experience Program

by Anton Shilov
05/27/2010 | 07:31 AM

Manju Hegde, the former founder and chief executive of Ageia and a former manager of Nvidia Corp., has joined Advanced Micro Devices as corporate vice president of Fusion Experience Program, under which he will work with software developers to promote AMD’s heterogeneous multi-core processors known as accelerated processing units (APUs).


The main job of Mr. Hegde at AMD Fusion Experience Program (FEP) will be to ensure that software designers can release their applications that take advantage of Fusion processors (which combine x86 and graphics processing engines on a single piece of silicon) in conjunction with the appropriate chips. In particular, he will manage the developer relations teams that help independent software developers (ISVs) to implement program code optimized for heterogeneous multi-core microprocessors.

At present AMD FEP works with many software developers on different applications, including consumer, gaming and professional. As a result, AMD Fusion Experience Program initiative is poised to help to accelerate a broad range of software, which will be a huge benefit for AMD in particular and general purpose processing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) in general.

“We are thrilled to be able to attract an experienced industry leader like Manju Hegde to the AMD team, a sign of the quality of talent we are able to attract to AMD on the strength of our Fusion roadmap. Manju brings prized expertise in developing the ecosystem for enabling breakthrough and heightened experiences on new architectures to AMD. As Manju and his team work with the ecosystem to usher in a new era of visual computing, we expect a wide range of industry leaders to embrace the future of accelerated computing through the combination of the GPU and CPU,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD products group.

For Mr. Hegde, who joined AMD about two months ago, heterogeneous multi-core processors and software written for them represents quite an interesting progress in his career: “from three to one”. Back in the Ageia days Mr. Hegde encouraged software designers to use PhysX physics processing unit (PPU) for physics effects processing in video games; back then game designers had to rely on three pieces of silicon: a central processing unit (CPUs), a graphics processing unit (GPU) and a PPU. In his Nvidia days Mr. Hegde persuaded programmers to process physics and graphics effects on GPUs; as a result, game developers had to rely on two chips: a CPU and a GPU. By working with software designers as the head of the FEP, Mr. Hegde will have to help programmers to compute everything – graphics, physics, general data – on one single chip that combines x86 processing cores along with ATI Radeon graphics processing engines.

The first AMD Fusion processors is code-named Llano. The chip is rumoured to contain up to four AMD Phenom II-class x86 cores along with ATI Radeon HD 5000-class graphics engine with up to 480 stream processors.