Intel jumps into GPU market to further piss off NVIDIA

Raja Koduri looking quite happy to abandon AMD for Intel.

As part of it’s continuing mission to piss off the graphics giant NVIDIA, Intel announced yesterday that they had poached chief GPU architect Raja Koduri from AMD. This announcement comes just days after Intel revealed their new partnership with AMD to provide smaller and more powerful discrete graphics for super-skinny laptops.

Intel had clearly been lusting after Raja for some time. Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer, said of Raja “[he] 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.”

Intel likes to scare NVIDIA, as it did with the 72-core Xeon Phi 7290.

In his new role as a Senior VP, Raja will manage the Core and Visual Computing group tasked with expanding Intel’s GPU offerings. Most notably, this will entail developing discrete GPUs aimed at the high-end gaming market, an area that Intel hasn’t historically shown much interest in. Their beast of a microprocessor, the Xeon Phi 7290, was designed to compete with NVIDIA GPUs in the supercomputer and machine learning market, sporting 72 cores and retailing for $6,000+.

But now it sounds like Intel is ready to compete for a bigger slice of the lucrative mid-range GPU market, saying “Koduri will expand Intel’s leading position in integrated graphics … for a broad range of computing segments.” To me this means both high- and mid-range gaming GPUs, aimed right at NVIDIA and AMD’s bottom line.

Now if only NVIDIA would announce that they’re jumping into the high-desktop CPU market… what an interesting year it would be.

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