Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Raja has left AMD comes news from Intel that Raja will be the chief architect and senior VP of Intel's newly formed Core and Visual Computing Group. It's an interesting move, as Intel hasn't traditionally had much of a presence in the high-end graphics market, but with GPUs extending into other areas like AI and compute, Raja's new role at Intel sounds a lot like his former role as head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group.
The announcement says Raja "will expand Intel's leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments." We haven't seen a proper discrete graphics solution out of Intel since the old i740 graphics solution, which was an AGP card way back in 1998. Considering nearly all of Intel's mainstream processors include some form of integrated graphics, it would be awesome to see Intel put additional resources into competing with Nvidia and AMD GPUs.
Intel hasn't been completely absent from GPU-like products, as in addition to its integrated graphics solution Intel has the x86-derived Xeon Phi products (ie, Knights Corner, Knights Landing, Knights Hill and Mill). Those compete in the high-end AI and compute markets as direct competitors to Nvidia's Tesla line, and the Xeon Phi is found in some of the fastest installations in the world (eg, China's Tianhe-2 and the US's Cori and Oakforest supercomputers). Intel also has a new Nervana Neural Network Processor (NNP) that might end up under Raja's oversight, not to mention the Intel licensing of AMD graphics technology for a soon-to-be-released 8th Gen Core processor.
The announcement goes on to say, "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."
As for Raja, he says, "I have admired Intel as a technology leader and have had fruitful collaborations with the company over the years. 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."
So much for the sabbatical, rest, and relaxation. Raja will remain a busy man. He'll start work at Intel in December.