AMD hires IBM exec to head chip design

Jeff VerHeul, a 25-year Big Blue veteran, heads to the chipmaker after leading IBM's contract engineering business.

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday said it named Jeff VerHeul, former head of IBM's engineering and technology services unit, to lead development of AMD's computer chip design efforts.

VerHeul, who was appointed corporate vice president of silicon design, will head up development of all future AMD computing chips, including product road maps and design at all engineering sites globally, the company said in a statement.

Earlier this week, the two companies extended and expanded a technology development pact. In an arrangement set to last through 2011, they plan to work on chip-manufacturing techniques using 32- and 22-nanometer processes, among other things.

AMD ranks a distant second in the market for microprocessor chips that serve as the central controls of personal computers.

Its development of chips capable of processing 64 bits of data at a time, or twice as much data as conventional 32-bit chips used in most PCs, has helped AMD to snatch back market share from Intel, the market leader in PC microprocessors.

In a statement, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said the hiring of VerHeul strengthens AMD's ability to bring the benefits of its 64-bit microprocessor technology to a wider range of customers and markets around the world.

VerHeul worked at IBM for 25 years. Most recently, he led the creation of the company's engineering and technology services business, a contract engineering business that designs chips on a custom basis for customers such as Honeywell and Nortel Networks.

Previously, VerHeul was IBM's vice president of workstation and server computer development.

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