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

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.