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

    Yeah Vega isn't bad, if you can get one for a decent price. Especially Vega 56.
  • sonicmerlin - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    The margins on such a large die with HBM2 selling for $400 must be atrocious.
  • wumpus - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    I'd assume that any for sale until the mining boom ends really have that many failed ALUs. If you see any for sale, it probably means GoFlo isn't doing much of a job and AMD will be looking elsewhere (I'd expect they can sell as many CPUs as GoFlo can make, something that hasn't been true since the wild days of Athlon64).
  • beginner99 - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    It is still not even listed where I live so impossible to get unless importing and then the decent price falls over.
  • psychobriggsy - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Nah, Vega isn't his child, Navi is. The guy has been busy for a long time, probably dealing with having to report to the board of directors at AMD that Vega isn't going to be stellar.

    It's evident that AMD hasn't provided enough resource to get drivers complete, or indeed to have timely top-to-bottom product refreshes with Polaris, and Vega will have big time delays between products.

    As a professional product, Vega is excellent. It's only the gaming aspect that is ... uninspiring. This is unacceptable, but the design brief was pre-Raja.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    He's back since 2013 and, as far as I remember, entered straight into a leading position. Chip designs take long, but not that long for him not to have decisive influence on Vega.
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    Yeah, I'm hesitant to believe that Raja didn't have significant sway on Vega.

    GPUs take a while, but not THAT long.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - link

    They have 3 generations in the pipe at a time, so yeah it really does take that long.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    But then look at what they call a "generation": the steps from GCN 1 to 2 to 3 were rather small, yet still officially called generations.
  • Topweasel - Thursday, September 14, 2017 - link

    It should be really easy to calculate. Where does GCN end. Well it ends with Vega. Therefore not Raja's baby.

    Vega was probably in the stages that gave Raja opportunity for input but still can we really blame Raja for not making Vega (GCN card) a burner? It would be like blaming the Zen team for not making Evacuator better than Skylake.

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