November 9, 2017 // 10:37 a.m.
Intel has confirmed that it has hired former AMD Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri to lead the newly-formed Core and Visual Computing Group, and that the company will be once again attempting to break into the discrete graphics segment.
When the news broke that Raja Koduri's leave of absence from AMD had become a permanent parting of ways, rumours began to circulate that he had been poached by Intel to assist with integrating licensed AMD technology into Intel processors. The truth, though, is significantly more surprising: Intel has indeed hired Koduri, but to lead a new effort to break into the high-performance discrete graphics processor market - a move which would put Intel in direct competition with AMD's Radeon Technologies Group.
While Intel's primary focus is on the x86 instruction set architecture (ISA), the company has tried to break into the discrete graphics segment before. In 2007 the company unveiled Larrabee, a new architecture for high-performance graphics, but one which would be cancelled just two years later with no products shipped and only live on as the basis for the x86-powered Many Integrated Cores (MIC) co-processor project.
With Koduri at the helm, though, Intel clearly believes it will be able to avoid the missteps of Larrabee and finally launch a high-performance graphics product which can hold its own against parts from Nvidia and AMD. The result: the formation of the Core and Visual Computing Group, a new division of Intel lead by Koduri and to focus on both integrated and high-end discrete graphics parts.
'Raja is one of the most experienced, innovative and respected graphics and system architecture visionaries in the industry and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel,' says Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and System Architecture groups, of the hiring. 'We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation. With Raja at the helm of our Core and Visual Computing Group, we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution.'
'I have admired Intel as a technology leader and have had fruitful collaborations with the company over the years,' Koduri said. 'I am incredibly excited to join the Intel team and have the opportunity to drive a unified architecture vision across its world-leading IP portfolio that helps accelerate the data revolution.'
AMD has not commented on the hiring, nor on Intel's plans to compete with it in the high-performance discrete graphics sector.