Wednesday, November 8th 2017

Intel Hires Raja Koduri, to Develop Discrete GPUs, This Time for Real

Intel hired Raja Koduri, who resigned as head of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), earlier this week. Koduri has been made Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of Intel's future discrete GPUs. That's right, Intel has renewed its dreams to power high-end graphics cards that compete with AMD and NVIDIA. Intel's last attempt at a discrete GPU was "Larrabee," which evolved into a super-scalar multi-core processor for HPC applications under the Xeon Phi line.

This development heralds two major theories. One, that Intel's collaboration with AMD RTG on graphics IP could only go further from here, and what is a multi-chip module of Intel and AMD IP now, could in the future become a true heterogeneous die of Intel's and AMD's IP. Two, that the consolidation of AMD's graphics assets and IP into a monolithic entity as RTG, could make it easier to sell it lock, stock, and barrel, possibly to Intel.
Intel places great faith in Koduri's ability to either develop a major product line from scratch, or to effect tectonic shifts in the industry, such as Apple's transition to the x86 architecture for its Mac product line.

Intel could have one of three approaches to build a discrete GPU from scratch. The first and most obvious one would be to scale up its current gen 9.5 architecture. The trouble is, that Intel's SIMD parallelism is more transistor-heavy than even NVIDIA. It takes roughly 400-500 million transistors (coarse estimate) on the "Kaby Lake" die to build a GPU with 24 execution units. With 10 billion transistors, we're looking at around 480 execution units, if not more.

The second approach would be to build a new graphics architecture from scratch. Something like this, even with Intel's deep R&D pockets, could take a team led by Koduri 3-4 years. The resulting architecture has to relevant to the market of the time, or end up missing the bus like Larrabee. The third approach would be to either license or acquire GPU IP from AMD. Koduri has the reputation of a tech business strategist as much as an IP guru to effect such a change.

These are strange times in the vale, as silicon giants Broadcom and Qualcomm look to coalesce into the world's third largest chipmaker, and Marvell with Cavium follow on. Stranger things are currently happening between past industry rivals, than the possibility of Intel acquiring RTG from AMD in exchange for cash, and allowing AMD's merger with another chipmaker without affecting its x86 license. This is just a really audacious theory.
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71 Comments on Intel Hires Raja Koduri, to Develop Discrete GPUs, This Time for Real

#1
ensabrenoir
WHATTTTTT........I'm definitely in an alternate universe....no doubt about it.
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#2
natr0n
This shit keeps getting more weird.
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#3
bubbleawsome
I wonder how AMD feels considering that Intel CPU/AMD GPU project just got announced.
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#4
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Sounds like a pissing match will ensue.
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#6
Static~Charge
The Larrabee never even saw the light of day as a GPU. Intel's last retail video card was the i740 back in 1998. I hope they're more serious about it this time around.
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#7
xkm1948
Intel + RTG (ATi)

AMD + nVidia

This is gonna be awesome
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#8
Slizzo
Static~Charge said:
The Larrabee never even saw the light of day as a GPU. Intel's last retail video card was the i740 back in 1998. I hope they're more serious about it this time around.
Larrabee was looking to be a really weird but cool product that might have disrupted the discrete graphics market a little bit. I'm sad it didn't really see the light of day as it was; even if Knights Landing is a spiritual successor.
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#9
Upgrayedd
Is this a reaction towards APUs or dedicated video cards? Would be weird to see Intel start dominating the gpu market too lol
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#10
R0H1T
Unless Raja does a Levandowski wrt Waymo, Intel will still need a good number of years before they come close to the current AMD let alone Nvidia in the dGPU business, these two are just way ahead of the pack including ARM ones.
Upgrayedd said:
Is this a reaction towards APUs or dedicated video cards? Would be weird to see Intel start dominating the gpu market too lol
Most likely enterprise driven for now, there's just way too much money left on the table for Nvidia & Intel can't let that happen.
NVIDIA are at best frenemies; the companies’ technologies complement each other well, but at the same time NVIDIA wants Intel’s high-margin server compute business, and Intel wants a piece of the action in the rapid boom in business that NVIDIA is seeing in the high performance computing and deep learning markets. NVIDIA has already begun weaning themselves off of Intel with technologies such as the NVLInk interconnect, which allows faster and cache-coherent memory transfers between NVIDIA GPUs and the forthcoming IBM POWER9 CPU. Meanwhile developing their own high-end GPU would allow Intel to further chase developers currently in NVIDIA’s stable, while in the long run also potentially poaching customers from NVIDIA’s lucrative (and profitable) consumer and professional graphics businesses.
Intel to Develop Discrete GPUs, Hires Raja Koduri as Chief Architect & Senior VP
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#11
ShurikN
Hopefully he can ruin Intel as much as he did with RTG
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#12
chaosmassive
yo, moar player, moar competition, lower prices, drive performance, isnt this we are dreaming for along long time?
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#14
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
TRAIIITORRRR!!!

This coming just after intel announces they will be integrating AMD gpus into their CPU die? I smell some patent infringements are about to begin...
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#15
the54thvoid
Well, if Intel's R&D budget is combined with RTG's GPU know how, you'd expect some fruit at one point. Only problem is, you think they'll try and price match Nvidia, undercut or sell higher?

I think if Intel ever make a competitive dGPU, it'll be more expensive than Nvidia pricing. Hope I'm wrong.
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#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
the54thvoid said:
Well, if Intel's R&D budget is combined with RTG's GPU know how, you'd expect some fruit at one point. Only problem is, you think they'll try and price match Nvidia, undercut or sell higher?

I think if Intel ever make a competitive dGPU, it'll be more expensive than Nvidia pricing. Hope I'm wrong.
R&D budget + RTG knowhow + Intel fab advancements + no possibility of TSMC leaking plans to NVIDIA.
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#17
chaosmassive
the54thvoid said:
Well, if Intel's R&D budget is combined with RTG's GPU know how, you'd expect some fruit at one point. Only problem is, you think they'll try and price match Nvidia, undercut or sell higher?

I think if Intel ever make a competitive dGPU, it'll be more expensive than Nvidia pricing. Hope I'm wrong.
the point is, the more competitor in same market, Intel will either
- make higher performance product at same price as competitor
- make roughly same performance product at lower price (undercut)

because if they want that market pie, they have to deliver products what consumer want.
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#18
TheGuruStud
Upgrayedd said:
Is this a reaction towards APUs or dedicated video cards? Would be weird to see Intel start dominating the gpu market too lol
My money is enterprise only and would be funny to use AMD for consumer peasants.

It will be interesting if they give up current iGPU altogether except for low power/low cost LOL.
They already have so many SKUs and dies, why not just have one more gd die for enthusiasts/performance machines?
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#19
RejZoR
If this means a 3rd graphic card player on the market, it's certainly interesting. I just think Intel won't be making stand alone graphic cards but only integrated stuff that will ALWAYS come with Intel CPU's...
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#20
cucker tarlson
Is it Intel hires Raja or Intel acquires RTG ? Cause although I''m a layman I think all intellectual property rights do not tranfer to Intel only cause they hired Raja, neither what you develop for a company you're working for becomes yours when you quit.
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#21
XiGMAKiD
Nice, Player 3 has entered the game
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#22
jigar2speed
btarunr said:
no possibility of TSMC leaking plans to NVIDIA.
That alone is a nightmare for Nvida. *Fury X countered by GTX 980Ti was not a coincidence for sure*
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#23
Liviu Cojocaru
I suspected this yesterday...imo Intel could buy the RTG group, they have the means to make it great
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#24
jigar2speed
ShurikN said:
Hopefully he can ruin Intel as much as he did with RTG
Polaris and Vega is not what he worked on. Navi is his baby...
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#25
Rivage
bubbleawsome said:
I wonder how AMD feels considering that Intel CPU/AMD GPU project just got announced.
I believe, it's a part of their agreement.
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