Another familiar face has landed at Intel's discrete graphics division as they prepare to make a run at the market for the best graphics cards. Chris Hook, the former director of global product marketing at AMD, updated his social media profiles to reflect his new role as Intel's "discrete graphics guy." More specifically, he'll oversee discrete GPU marketing efforts at Intel.
Previously Hook worked at AMD for nearly two decades (17 years) dating back to the ATI days, before leaving the company earlier this month "to pursue a new role" elsewhere that was to begin at the end of April. He didn't mention at the time what that role would be, but now we know.
What's interesting about this hire is that Hook is reuniting with Raja Koduri, the former head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group who oversaw the development of Vega before taking a sabbatical and, upon his return, jumping ship to Intel.
The hire seems indicative that Intel will release a discrete gaming GPU at some point, though exactly when remains to be seen. It's worth noting that Intel hasn't actually confirmed plans to do so, instead saying it will focus on "high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments" for the PC market. However, Jason Evangelho (also a former AMD employee) at Forbes claims "some of those discrete GPU products will be in the enthusiast space."
Hook offered some expanded thoughts on this new role in a Facebook post that is either no longer visible, or we're just not able to see it (it might not be a public post). TomsHardware re-posted his message in full.
"As many of you know, it was recently announced that Intel is embarking on a journey to expand its leading position in integrated graphics for PC with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments, and will be growing its technology portfolio across computing, graphics, media, imaging and machine intelligence for clients and data centers, AI, and edge computing," Hook said.
"That’s a pretty exciting journey, and one I personally want to be part of. So starting tomorrow, I’ll be assuming a new role in which I’ll be driving the marketing strategy for visual technologies and upcoming discrete graphics products," Hook added.
Intel has been on a bit of a hiring spree lately. In addition to bringing Hook on board, former AMD chip architect Jim Keller joined the company to lead its silicon engineering efforts.
"We have embarked on exciting initiatives to fundamentally change the way we build the silicon as we enter the world of heterogeneous process and architectures. Jim joining us will help accelerate this transformation," said Dr Murthy Renduchintala, Intel's chief engineering officer and group president of the company's Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group (TSCG).
Keller most recently worked at Tesla. He's also held roles at Apple and P.A. Semi, the latter of which Apple acquired in 2008.
Given the number of people Intel is hiring in its graphics department, we have to wonder how many more AMD—and Nvidia—people will end up making the move. Intel certainly has the resources to compete in the graphics arena, and it appears the company is finally taking steps to do so.