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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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The Inquirer reports that former ATI chip designer and executive Bob Drebin is apparently now a Senior Director at Apple. Drebin was formerly the Chief Technology Officer for the Graphics Products Group at AMD, assuming the position as part of AMD's acquisition of ATI in 2006. As detailed in his still-active AMD profile, Drebin brings extensive experience in graphics chip design.Bob Drebin is the chief technology officer of the Graphics Products Group within AMD. In this role, he oversees the technical strategy and direction for AMD's graphics related businesses.

Mr. Drebin joined AMD with the ATI acquisition in 2006. At ATI, Mr. Drebin led the architecture and design of many of ATI award-winning graphics processors. Before ATI, Mr. Drebin managed the architecture and design unit of ArtX, where he was instrumental in development of the graphics component for the Nintendo Game Cube. Prior to joining ArtX, Mr. Drebin was a chief engineer in Silicon Graphics' Advanced Graphics Division, where he spent nine years developing high performance graphics systems.While the details of Drebin's new role remain unknown, his experience in graphics hardware suggests that he may have a similar focus at Apple, which is known to be focused on development of OpenCL, a key component of Apple's upcoming OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that will allow the operating system to take greater advantage of parallel processing across multi-core CPUs and graphics chips.

Notably, Drebin appears to have left AMD in January 2008 and did not assume his position at Apple until earlier this year, possibly due to non-compete clauses in his employment contract. Similar non-compete terms delayed the appointment of Mark Papermaster to his new position of senior vice president of Hardware Devices Engineering at Apple and triggered a lawsuit from his former employer, IBM. Apple announced in January that the dispute had been settled, and that Papermaster would assume his new position as of April 24th. As noted by CNET, Papermaster did indeed begin work on Friday, and his biography has been added to Apple's list of executives.

Article Link: Apple Personnel Moves: Former AMD Chip Executive Hired, Papermaster Finally Begins Work
 

Michael73

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2007
1,081
41
I think it's somewhat of a leap to say that we don't have a clue what he's doing at APPL but because the company is making OpenCL a focus of SL, and his background, he's probably working on it.

I'm not saying that he's not but APPL is HUGE, he could be working on any number of projects. Why not say that he's focusing on his graphics related background on the next gen of Pro Apps? For that matter, maybe they stuck him on a skunkworks projects that no one knows about yet?!?
 

gutefahrt

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2004
52
28
And why should we care? This is Page 1, and the 13-yr-old kid getting a $10,000 iTunes gift card for downloading the 1,000,000,000 app is Page 2?
 

abrooks

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2004
635
160
London, UK
And why should we care? This is Page 1, and the 13-yr-old kid getting a $10,000 iTunes gift card for downloading the 1,000,000,000 app is Page 2?

This is very important news, Apple is hiring some of the best brains in the chip business. In particular Drebin is a GPU specialist, could Apple be wanting to push the iPhone even further into the gaming world or maybe it's working on a games console again.
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,380
47
AR
So, when you start reading their exec profiles it's interesting that the "Senior Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering" reports to Tim Cook, while the "Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering" reports to Steve Jobs.

In fact, all the other execs report to Jobs but the person in charge of Mac hardware.

Interesting.
 

dolphin842

macrumors 65816
Jul 14, 2004
1,172
29
Hmm... is this a sign that Apple is going to make an even more serious play for the portable gaming market?

Either that, or they are really serious about OpenCL and the future of GPU-based computing.

Also, good to see Papermaster getting to work. Apple is slowly forming its executive Voltron.... :D
 

Shadow

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2006
1,577
1
This could turn out to be something very interesting, what with the PA Semi acquisition earlier this year (or was it last year?).
 

SandynJosh

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2006
1,652
2
It's really something when the finest minds in the rumor mill can't figure out where Apple is going with "the next big thing," and you know they have something being brewed up as we speak.

The Mac 128K was a total departure from where the micro-computer market was headed in 1984. The iTunes site was a totally stealth product when it came out. No one could have guessed what a juggernaut it became, and how powerfully it wedded customers to Apple products. Without fanfare, iTunes became the most common non-Microsoft program to reside in a Microsoft OS computer.

It feels to me like we are living in the "last days" time of computers as we once knew them to be. (Now I know that to be a hyperbole, however, just how much of one it may be is exciting to ponder)
 

applecultvictim

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2009
549
0
At last apple, no more of these nvidia fiascos...I always wondered why they just didn't side with ati to begin with, is it maybe somethng to do with intel's anti-amd rules to do bussiness, sure looks like it...and now every nvidia macbook pro of a year to three ago is a timebomb...shhhh...:eek::mad::cool::apple:
 

Saladinos

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2008
1,845
2
Haha, maybe Apple will start custom modding laptops and selling them in drebin points.

</MGS4 joke>
 

powers74

macrumors 68000
Aug 18, 2008
1,852
14
At the bend in the river
On the table

It's really something when the finest minds in the rumor mill can't figure out where Apple is going with "the next big thing," and you know they have something being brewed up as we speak.

The Mac 128K was a total departure from where the micro-computer market was headed in 1984. The iTunes site was a totally stealth product when it came out. No one could have guessed what a juggernaut it became, and how powerfully it wedded customers to Apple products. Without fanfare, iTunes became the most common non-Microsoft program to reside in a Microsoft OS computer.

It feels to me like we are living in the "last days" time of computers as we once knew them to be. (Now I know that to be a hyperbole, however, just how much of one it may be is exciting to ponder)

I'm with you on this one. I've been saying this for a while, but I imagine in ten years Apple will be running it's own, exclusive chipset - iPhone all the way up through MacPro. Apple is all about control, and it certainly looks like they are growing their guru collection. As you pointed out, Apple is also second to none when it comes to long term strategy and predictive moves in the super fast paced electronics industry, and I don't think you're far off in your statement.
 

MattInOz

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2006
2,760
0
Sydney
At last apple, no more of these nvidia fiascos...I always wondered why they just didn't side with ati to begin with, is it maybe somethng to do with intel's anti-amd rules to do bussiness, sure looks like it...and now every nvidia macbook pro of a year to three ago is a timebomb...shhhh...:eek::mad::cool::apple:

I don't think this is a sign of Apple siding with anyone.

Hey is not like ATI chips are not without their own problems.
Like the OpenGL explosions they like to have.

Seeing Apple still ship ATI and nVida product insider their machine I see Intel having much influence.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,870
703
Redondo Beach, California
Apple needs to somehow differentiate itself from the generic PC. It needs to be able to point to Apple's "better" hardware. At first they tried using the PPC chip but Intel overtook them. But what if all Apple computers had custom GPUs that are not used by non-Apple computers. This gives Apple an advantage by having GPUs s well integrated into the OS with OpenCL and GPS both designed together.

It also kind of eliminates the ability of other to build "Hackintoshes". Unless they want to use 2009 or earlier vintage graphic cards.

The other thing they might be doing along these lines is designing a chip that is like a GPU but does not do graphics. If you are using the GPU for computations it does not need the parts to drive a display. It does not need a ton of video RAM either.

Either way my guess is that Apple bought a chip making company and hired an exec who has worked with GPU so that they can build their own custom parts so that Apple is not just another reseller of Intel main boards.
 

DELLsFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
826
0
Hire whoever you need to to bring better graphics and graphics choices among your product lines, Apple!

Oh, and hurry up with the Quad-Core support in the iMac, please. kkthx.

:p
 

powers74

macrumors 68000
Aug 18, 2008
1,852
14
At the bend in the river
streamlining

Apple needs to somehow differentiate itself from the generic PC. It needs to be able to point to Apple's "better" hardware. At first they tried using the PPC chip but Intel overtook them. But what if all Apple computers had custom GPUs that are not used by non-Apple computers. This gives Apple an advantage by having GPUs s well integrated into the OS with OpenCL and GPS both designed together.

It also kind of eliminates the ability of other to build "Hackintoshes". Unless they want to use 2009 or earlier vintage graphic cards.

The other thing they might be doing along these lines is designing a chip that is like a GPU but does not do graphics. If you are using the GPU for computations it does not need the parts to drive a display. It does not need a ton of video RAM either.

Either way my guess is that Apple bought a chip making company and hired an exec who has worked with GPU so that they can build their own custom parts so that Apple is not just another reseller of Intel main boards.


Yep, plus they don't want to have to depend on a multitude of chipmakers to come out with the next line of screaming silicon. Apple wants to streamline their product development for the future and be able to innovate at their own pace.
 

brop52

macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2007
1,620
3
Michigan
Yep, plus they don't want to have to depend on a multitude of chipmakers to come out with the next line of screaming silicone. Apple wants to streamline their product development for the future and be able to innovate at their own pace.

*Silicon. Silicone is a polymer containing silicon among other things. Silicon is the elemental form that is used in semiconductors and is more pure for this use.
 

Animalk

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2007
466
6
Montreal Canada
If there is one thing that stands out to me about all this is that Steve runs the special projects. All other mature and refined product lines that are not undergoing any significant advancements that require significant redesign and engineering fall under the Tim.

You can bet whoever reports to Steve is working on Apple's more interesting projects. ;)
 
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