One Of AMD's Leading LLVM Compiler Experts Jumped Ship To Unity

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 23 June 2019 at 12:05 AM EDT. 44 Comments
AMD has lost one of their leading LLVM compiler developers as well as serving as a Vulkan/SPIR-V expert with being involved in those Khronos specifications.

Neil Henning has parted ways with AMD and is now joining Unity Technologies. Neil was brought to AMD to improve the performance of their LLVM compiler, in particular their LLVM Pipeline Compiler (LLPC) used by the likes of their official AMD Vulkan driver in order to make it competitive with their long-standing, proprietary shader compiler currently used by their binary graphics drivers. While at AMD, he was able to increase the performance of their LLVM shader compiler stack by about 2x over the past year. He also implemented various Vulkan driver extensions into their stack.

AMD's LLVM compiler stack continues getting more mature and comparable in performance/features to their shader compiler but we haven't heard anything new recently about when they may migrate their proprietary OpenGL/Vulkan components to using it.

But he acknowledges he didn't enjoy internal politics, the internal systems at the company, and other factors. As a result, Neil is now joining Unity to work on their Burst compiler. Their Burst compiler effort is what they are doing and based on LLVM with a goal of making C# faster than C++. With Neil onboard, the Burst prospects have become a lot more exciting.

As part of this move, Neil is also parting ways with The Khronos Group and his work on Vulkan/SPIR-V. More details via this blog post.
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