Intel Corporation Sets Broad GPU Vision, Hires AMD’s GPU Chief

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is foraying into high-end graphics cards, and to move its efforts forward, it has hired Raja Koduri, AMD’s former head of graphics. Koduri, considered a genius in the field of graphics, has also worked for Apple in the past, and has over 25 years of experience in visual computing, game consoles, and accelerated computing.

Is Intel doing the right thing?

Intel’s group president of the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and System Architecture, Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, said that Raja Koduri is one of the most experienced, innovative and respected graphics and system architecture visionaries in the industry, and is the latest example of top technical talent to come to Intel.

At Intel, Koduri will join as the chief architect and senior VP of the newly formed Core and Visual Computing, the business unit in charge of Intel’s new graphic card line along with the integrated graphics hardware. Koduri will assume his role in December, according to the announcement made by Intel on Wednesday.

“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 help’s accelerate the data revolution,” Koduri said.

Intel is doing the obvious as it forays into the GPU market with a big investment. The move would strengthen its position in the market along with chipping away at the competitor’s market share. Further, the integrated graphics will also draw benefits from the new GPU focus. Even though Intel is looking to tap the graphic market potential and cater to high-end desktops, in the coming years, Artificial Intelligence could be the cash-cow, with companies like Nvidia shifting their focus to the technology.

Raja Koduri to help expand Intel’s graphics capabilities

Although Intel’s portfolio consists of the GPU-like products for a few markets, there is no proper GPU solution other than the existing GT4-class iGPUs. The company has no presence in the mid-range or high-end market of iGPUs, notes AnandTech. Koduri would help the company expand its GPU offering to serve the “broad range of computing segments,” the chipmaker says.

“We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation,” Intel said in a press release. And, with Raja heading the 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.”

However, it could take years for Intel to excel in the area. AMD’s Vega graphics processor, a major product on which Koduri last worked at AMD, was released this summer, notes Fortune. Hopefully, Koduri joining Intel won’t strain the relationship between the two tech companies.

Intel and AMD are at good terms right now with AMD recently announcing that it will manufacture semi-custom chips for Intel. Both are collaborating to produce a new Intel Core H laptop CPU powered with Radeon graphics.

On Wednesday, Intel shares closed down 0.17% at $46.70. Year to date, the stock is up almost 29%, while in the last three months, it is up over 28%.

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