The great god Jim Keller talks about the inside story of Zen architecture: AMD employees do not believe that they can surpass Intel

Jim Keller is a well-known CPU researcher at home and abroad. He led the team to create the Zen architecture at AMD, which is the key to AMD’s turnaround in recent years, and even surpassed the Core processors of friends.

Outsiders can see AMD’s achievements in recent years, but in the years before Zen came out, AMD’s situation can be said to be very bad. The company’s financial crisis was heavy, the stock price fell below 2 US dollars, and product development was unable to keep up with the mainstream, and Intel’s The gap is huge, and the bulldozer and its derivatives are completely unable to compete with the Core processor.

Jim Keller has two working experiences at AMD. He first entered AMD in 1998, during which he participated in the research and development of K7 and K8 architectures, and returned to AMD in 2012, this time mainly to develop the Zen architecture.

The great god Jim Keller talks about the inside story of Zen architecture: AMD employees do not believe that they can surpass Intel

In an interview with Anandtech a few days ago, Jim Keller talked about the behind-the-scenes story of AMD’s development of the Zen architecture. He said that after returning to AMD, he found that the development of the processor was very bad, because AMD’s employees were not confident and did not believe in their own strength. The gap is still widening.

Jim Keller believes that with the Zen architecture, they can surpass Intel in the new generation of processors, but many employees do not believe this, only a few people have this confidence, most people think that they can surpass the best, but in fact it is impossible, more Extreme people even publicly mocked Jim Keller’s claims.

Like Jim Keller, Mike Clark, an executive in charge of Zen architecture development, has always believed that Zen architecture can outperform his opponents, but at first few people around him supported him.

Jim Keller worked hard to persuade AMD executives and employees to support the development of the Zen architecture, and reformed the company’s internal processes to move the project forward, and in 2017 and beyond, everyone saw the success of the Zen architecture.

It is a pity that Jim Keller himself did not wait for the Zen architecture to be listed at AMD. In 2016, he suddenly announced his resignation, and was later recruited by Tesla to help develop Tesla’s own in-vehicle computing platform, which is called the world’s strongest by Musk. , The AI ​​chip that is far superior to the GPU, although it was officially released after Jim Keller left.

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