AMD has officially confirmed rumours that it has snatched Frank Azor, co-founder of now-Dell-subsidiary Alienware, to act as the company's chief architecture for gaming solutions - a wholly new role.
Founded in 1996 as Sakai of Miami by Frank Azor and colleagues Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, Alienware got its current name a year later - inspired by the founders' love for the X-Files TV series. In 2006, the company was acquired by Dell to become its enthusiast-oriented gaming subsidiary, but directly competed with Dell's in-house XPS range for two years after until its corporate overlord saw fit to reposition the XPS range away from enthusiast gaming and allow Alienware to wholly represent that segment in both desktops and laptops. Since the takeover, Azor has been working as the company's general manager below chief executive Michael Dell - but now he's jumping ship to AMD to head up a newly-created gaming-focused role.
Following a series of rumours that AMD was courting Azor, the company has confirmed that he has been taken on in the role of chief architect for gaming solutions under computing and graphics lead Sandeep Chennakeshu, In that role, Azor will be responsible for working in the PC, console, and cloud gaming markets to push the company's CPU and GPU product ranges - both of which are already well-represented in consoles and cloud gaming infrastructure, but are currently fighting an uphill battle against rivals Intel and Nvidia in the PC gaming market.
Azor has long been one of a number of industry figures trotted out by AMD to offer soundbites in support of new product launches thanks to a partnership between the company and Alienware that saw AMD parts fitted to selected systems. 'At Alienware, we share AMD's commitment to raise the performance bar on next-generation computing capabilities,' he claimed when AMD announced its AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor range back in 2007, 'and deliver key technologies that open up a new world of possibilities for consumers.'
Azor has confirmed the appointment, but has not yet telegraphed his first act in the role. Neither Dell nor Alienware have announced his successor.
January 24 2020 | 12:00