Advanced Micro Devices is appointing two seasoned executives to lead its graphics chip division at a critical time in its competition with rivals Nvidia and Intel.

Mike Rayfield, a former executive at Micron and Nvidia, and David Wang, formerly of Synaptics, will take on the senior executive roles at AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group.

They replace Raja Koduri, the former AMD graphics chief who surprisingly defected to join rival Intel in November.

Staying competitive in the graphics processing unit (GPU) business is important, as it generates billions of dollars a year for Santa Clara, California-based AMD and it differentiates AMD’s central processing units (CPUs) from its chief rival Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker.

Rayfield will serve as senior vice president and general manager of the AMD Radeon Technologies Group.

The semi-custom products include game console chips for Microsoft and Sony as well as a custom graphics chip for Intel.

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