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AMD Is Indeed Losing More Linux Developers

AMD

Published on 02 November 2012 11:36 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
69 Comments

At the beginning of the week I reported that AMD got rid of at least three of their Linux kernel developers. It's becoming more clear though that it's not only three long-time Linux kernel developers they have let go.

Since the posting on Monday, there's been talk and speculation within the forums what is happening at AMD. We have known since last month the company has been making plans to let go around 15% of its staff due to poor financial performance out of the company, but it seems their Linux work will take a material impact in this latest round of "layoffs" at the organization.

There's been unverified statements that AMD is actually shutting down the OSRC, a.k.a. their Operating System Research Center in Dresden. At the AMD OSRC is where they did initial enablement work for new AMD CPUs on Linux and other operating systems, various kernel-level work like improvements to virtualization, and other research and upstream work as it pertains to Linux and other OSes. However, I haven't been able to get an official statement out of AMD yet whether they are in fact completely shutting down the OSRC or just dramatically reducing their staffing levels, so treat that part as a rumour for the time being.

The three AMD engineers I reported on earlier this week were out of their German office and responsible for maintaining Linux kernel components like the AMD cpufreq/powernow support, the AMD microcode, and other CPU-focused areas. Since Monday it's been found out that, yes, other Linux areas are being hit.

After the Monday Phoronix article, there was another AMD Linux kernel patch this time from Joerg Roedel. He wrote, "I have no access to my AMD email address anymore. Update entry in MAINTAINERS to the new address." Joerg changed his email address within the Linux kernel from the AMD.com domain to his own personal address. Joreg -- another German -- was the maintainer of AMD IOMMU (AMD-VI) support for the Linux kernel. He's also now changed the AMD IOMMU status for Linux from being "Supported" to now just under a "Maintained" state. Joerg was a Linux kernel developer for more than a half-decade.

As another sign of trouble for AMD Germany, under their AMD GitHub activity page, their Tapper software that comes out of the Operating System Research Center was also changed. Last week the Tapper source-code was forked on GitHub and the AMD Wiki then updated to reflect "Tapper is continued on its new home." The "new home" for the code-base only reflects non-AMD addresses, so it appears that AMD has abandoned this OSRC Dresden project outright.

I'm still looking around to see what other AMD engineers have recently changed their email addresses or project URLs as well, but so far all of them seem to be out of AMD Germany / OSRC. As well, I'm still waiting for AMD to respond to requests for comments.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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