Late last night, PC Perspective confirmed rumors that Raja Koduri, AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, is to go on sabbatical. Sourcing Raja’s internal letter to the RTG team, he will be taking leave from September 25 until an unspecified date in December, to spend time with his family. Dr Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, will lead RTG in the interim.

As reproduced by Ryan Shrout, Raja’s letter is as follows:

RTG Team,

You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja

Since his return to AMD in 2013 and the reformation of a monolithic graphics division with RTG in 2015, Raja has overseen and led all aspects of AMD graphics hardware and software. Raja’s public presence and involvement render him the face of graphics at AMD, in all senses of the word, from Capsaicin events to Twitter and Reddit. Following Vega’s launch, Raja had taken two weeks vacation to visit family, following visits to company sites in India.

Given the news in his letter, we hope all is well.

Source: PC Perspective

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  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    You also don't understand sarcasm, apparently. :P
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    ya I guess!
  • beginner99 - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    Because if the value of the crypto currencies crashes, the difficulty gets to high or a new, better (performance/watt and $) GPU gets released all these polaris chips end up on ebay for cheap and AMD won't be able to sell any new ones and price will crash. That is the sole reason for these mining cards because they can't be resold.
  • xype - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    That stuff would have happened anyway; the GPUs would end up on eBay at some point or the other, and a new GPU is always going to be released in the next 6-18 months. If prices go back to MSRP people will rather buy a new one than a used mining GPU (unless the price difference is MSRP -50% or some such), too.

    So why should AMD care, exactly? A sale is a sale, and a sale now is better than a potential sale in the future. AMD needs money, mining craze is making them money.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    From the business perspective, there's an important part to mindshare, advertising, and building up customer loyalty with well priced and well performing products, with good support.

    Similar to the anxieties AIB partners like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and more have on selling lots of card stock to miners, this also affects AMD/Radeon in a direct way.

    Miners are less likely to purchase a product again due to good performance, as they ideally only care about MH/s/watt or some other derivative function to determine the best card(s) to fill mining rigs with. If Nvidia had better performance/watt for mining, then I can bet you many miners would start buying Nvidia tomorrow, and try to sell off or claim warranty on heavily stressed/used GPUs. Abusive warranty claims is another thing. As mining operations puts near ~100% load on the card 24/7, a card used for mining then claiming warranty on it a few months before warranty ends to get a new card happened the last time during the mining craze happened with bitcoin and such, and that overall cut into the profit(s) made with the original card sales. A GPU under ~100% utilization 24/7 over the course of 3 years of warranty is going to be a lot more worn out than even the heaviest gamer's ~70% load for 6 ~ 8 hours of heavy gaming per day for 3 years.

    Regular PC builders and gamers are more likely to be repeat AMD customers if they liked their original AMD card, had good service, and good performance, and want more of the same in a new, more powerful, card.

    There's actually more value to be had in the long term selling a video card to a PC gamer than there is to a miner. Sure you get the short term profits now, but you don't really know if miners are going to burn you out with warranty claims on heavily abused GPUs within a warranty period that was calculated as if the card was only seeing the nominal use in a typical gaming PC.
  • wumpus - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    AMD's long term goals have been to move as much CPU work onto the GPU, and that is pretty much why they bought ATI in the first place.

    Leadership in GPU computing isn't a bad thing for AMD, even if they might prefer leadership in graphics.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Kinda irrelevant what the cards are being used for, sales are sales.
  • xype - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    That seems like a hard concept to grasp, it looks like.
  • Sergio526 - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    They also have to hold back reserve to have enough for the iMac Pros which will have Vega 56 and 64 options.
  • Vatharian - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    I'm kinda surprised on saying this myself, but while reading and watching a couple of reviews I am thinking - it has definitely higher power consumption, but it still delivers very good performance. Not the top, but as close as it comes, given completely different design that GeForce Pascal has, and it is not big issue. Sure, it requires you to be more careful about buying PSU, but that's all for true enthusiasts. And I have a feeling, as an owner of GTX1070 - there is no point in water cooling the 1070. But Vega? It makes WC exciting again!

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