The company hired senior engineer Charles Matar, an expert in low-power and embedded chip design, Reuters reports. Matar honed his skills at Qualcomm. The second acquisition is Wayne Meretsky, who worked on Apple A-series processors used in the iPad and iPhone. Meretsky will lead software development for AMD chips - we are assuming SoC designs.
It is worth noting that both Matar and Meretsky worked at AMD earlier in their careers, but it is unclear whether they ever crossed paths in Austin. Although AMD made headlines by cutting jobs in recent years, the company also managed to hire some high-profile engineers, such as Jim Keller.
AMD's decision to hire Matar and Meretsky could indicate a significant change in strategic thinking, as their field of expertise is System-on-Chip design, or SoCs. AMD is slowly but surely shifting its focus from traditional big-core CPUs to mid-range APUs with integrated graphics, as well as frugal x86 APUs and SoCs for entry level laptops, based on the new Jaguar core.
In addition, AMD is also working on heterogeneous designs with ARM cores on the side and back in October it announced an ARM64 server SoC for SeaMicro.
ARM integration seems to be a pet project of AMD's latest CEO Rory Read, but the company has stopped short of entering the consumer oriented SoC market, dominated so far by the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm, Apple and Nvidia.