AMD's Linux Team Takes Another Blow
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 10 December 2010 at 09:39 AM EST. 24 Comments
The ATI/AMD Catalyst Linux driver has improved vastly over the years with the switch to their new architecture back in 2007 and hitting many milestones since that point with reaching a performance and near-feature parity with their Windows Catalyst driver thanks to a largely shared code-base. The Catalyst Linux driver is now largely on-par with the AMD Windows driver (except with areas like XvBA for video acceleration), but today AMD's Linux team is facing a new loss.

It was just one year ago that AMD lost its core Linux engineering manager, Matthew Tippett, who had been with ATI Technologies for the better part of a decade and had built up the ATI Linux driver team that went on to make all of the major improvements while Matthew introduced many changes along the way. Tippett left AMD for the United States to head the Linux kernel development of Palm's (now HP) WebOS software platform and also a pivotal role with us on the Phoronix Test Suite. Today now marks the last day for another ATI/AMD Linux veteran, Piranavan Selvanandan, who is now heading to the same boat after relocating to California.

Piranavan Selvanandan may not be a common name to the Phoronix community like Matthew Tippett or the always-present, John Bridgman, but he has been a prolific part of the Linux software team for the past seven years. Piranavan was one of the first hires at ATI by Matthew when building up his original Linux team. Piranavan's position at AMD most recently has been serving as a senior software engineer to Linux core engineering.

Piranavan was the lead engineer when it came to supporting multiple ATI Radeon/FireGL/FirePro graphics cards simultaneously under Linux, had implemented build framework and architectural changes within their Linux team, coordinated their Linux build management and their private beta program for some time, was AMD's internal point of contact for Linux driver questions, and was also the second most active code reviewer of their more than two dozen Linux driver developers, among other achievements in improving the Linux support during his long tenure at ATI/AMD.

This blow to AMD's Linux team also comes at a time while NVIDIA is looking to hire more Linux engineers.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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